Brazilian congressman sent to prison for saying the govt is corrupt

Lawmaker Daniel Silveira – a veteran of the nation’s military police, freshman Congressman, and supporter of conservative President Jair Bolsonaro – was arrested in February 2021 after publishing the video. Silveira had accused the STF, dominated by appointees of former socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of having “no character, no scruples, no morals” and said that he had imagined an STF judge (in Brazil, formally a “minister”), “taking a beating.”

Silveira by saying there was corruption in the courts and govt was convicted of “intent to impede the free exercise of powers” and “judicial coercion.” He was also cited with fostering animosity between the STF and armed forces. 

 

 

Conservatives in Brazil have reacted with outrage noting that the same STF Lula who was convicted to 25 years in prison for stealing public funds and buying luxury goods and property. The high court of Brazil even restored the former presidents political rights so he can run in the 2022 election.

De Moraes declared during the ruling on Wednesday that Silveira did not have the right to express “criminal opinions” and that pure freedom of expression did not exist in Brazil, but “freedom of expression with responsibility.”

The high court of Brazil also said, that the “constitution” does not guarantee freedom of expression for speech against “institutions” such as the high court itself.  De Moraes asserted its only for jokes, satires, etc. Even though the congress in Brazil is supposed to have “Parliamentary immunity” this criticizing of the high court is seen as a criminal offense. 

The judges did not clarify how ousting a democratically elected lawmaker was consistent with their claims of defending democracy.

Silveira gave his last speech before the ruling in Congress on Wednesday, condemning de Moraes personally as a “marginal” – an outlaw or a thug – and a “frustrated little boy.”

“I spent 11 months in prison, 11 months without a crime,” Silveira declared, “but I think that I was freer [there] because the smallest prison in the world is the robe of Minister Alexandre de Moraes, [a robe] which only fits a thug. It is very complicated to have this element of people inside the STF trampling the constitution.”

Critics of the court point out that Silveira has a valid point saying the government and the court is filled with socialist back corruption appointees by Lula himself.

Silveira is expected to appeal the decision. 

 

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