Brazilian court allows political protests during Olympics

Indo Asian News Service / 16 August 2016

Brasilia, Aug 16 (IANS) A Brazilian federal court has maintained that political protests can be held outside Rio 2016 Olympic venues, denying a complaint by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.

Federal judge Marcelo Granado had been asked by the committee to overturn the right for political protests to happen in and around venues and Olympic zones, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, he cited Law 13.284/2016, which covers the Olympic Games and recognizes “the constitutional right to the freedom of expression and the full liberty of expression in defense of human dignity.”

Granado on Monday also rejected the argument that the political protests might be of a racist or xenophobic nature, or defend other kinds of discrimination.

This permission had first been issued on August 8 by judge Joao Carneiro Araujo, in Rio de Janeiro, who had stated that the Brazilian government, the local government of Rio and the organizing committee did not have the right to suppress political protests during the competition.

The order allows those present in stadiums to peacefully protest, including by using signs, wearing shirts and in other ways that do not disturb the event.

According to Araujo, the repression of such protests would go directly against the ideals of the Olympic movement.

In the first days of the Games, security forces ejected fans waving signs or wearing shirts stating “Temer Out”, in protest at the interim government of President Michel Temer.