Brazil: Amnesty International laments authorities’ lack of receptiveness to requests for meetings to debate human rights
On Tuesday, Amnesty International launched the ‘Brazil for Everyone’ campaign, presenting its concerns and recommendations for guaranteeing, protecting and promoting human rights in the country five months after President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration began.
The organisation’s positions have been addressed to Bolsonaro in an open letter that the executive director of Amnesty International Brazil, Jurema Werneck, and the Amnesty International Americas director, Erika Guevara-Rosas, intend to deliver to the president personally in Brasilia, where they will be seeking an audience with government representatives until Thursday 23 May. On Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement saying they were open to dialogue with Amnesty International.
Jurema Werneck said: “We were hoping the authorities would be more receptive and we also hope that the willingness to engage in dialogue expressed in the inter-ministerial statement becomes reality. We asked for a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro, and he forwarded our request to the Minister for Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves. Of the six meetings we requested with the authorities, only two have been confirmed, and the Minister for Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves, told us we would be received by the Deputy National Secretary for General Protection, Dr Alexandre Magno, this week.”
“We also requested an audience with the minister Sergio Moro, and the President’s Chief of Staff, Onix Lorenzoni. Moro told us that he would not be available to see us, and we are still waiting to hear back from the Chief of Staff’s office. The only person who has agreed to speak with us is General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, head of the Secretariat of Government. We hope the meetings with Alexandre Magno and Santos Cruz will be beneficial in building a positive dialogue for human rights. We still hope that some other authorities, especially President Jair Bolsonaro, will be able to receive us to talk about issues relevant to the current situation in Brazil.”
Erika Guevara-Rosas reiterates the importance of governments engaging in dialogue with civil society.
“I think it is important for Bolsonaro and other authorities to show their willingness to talk about the human rights issues we raised yesterday, which are not only our concerns, but concerns shared by many organisations working to promote human rights and by Brazilian citizens. These are measures that threaten the rights of millions of people, especially indigenous and Quilombola people, women, black people, LGBTI people and human rights defenders. Our concerns and recommendations are all based on analysis of decrees and measures adopted or proposed by the government, in the light of the international commitments Brazil has made to defend human rights,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.
“What we are proposing are possible paths to a more inclusive country: a country for everyone. Demonstrating an openness to dialogue would be an important signal from the government of Brazil, South America’s largest country, in this period of major threats to and violations of human rights in the Americas”.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brazil: Bolsonaro administration is transforming anti-human-rights rhetoric into action (News, 21 May 2019)