• Press Release

Political crisis in Brazil jeopardizes human rights agenda

May 17, 2016

In view of the facts in the public domain in Brazil, where an impeachment process applied by the Senate has seen President Dilma Rousseff temporarily removed from office to be replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, Amnesty International urges the Brazilian authorities to reaffirm their commitment to the human rights enshrined in the Constitution of 1988 and ensure full compliance with their international obligations under the human rights treaties to which Brazil is a party.

Amnesty International has previously expressed its concerns about the risk of serious setbacks in the human rights agenda, particularly in the legislative agenda and especially regarding rights that most directly affect historically marginalized groups, including women, people of Afrodescendants, indigenous peoples and traditional communities. Amnesty International has warned of the risks to human rights contained in the proposals to repeal the Disarmament Statute and the Family Statute, in the proposed new Mining Code and Constitutional Amendment (PEC) 215, and in the dismantling of environmental licensing. It has warned of the risks of the Anti-Terrorism Law, approved in March 2016, insofar as it contains extremely vague language which could be applied to criminalize social movements and peaceful protests.

The lack of diversity in the composition of the cabinet, which does not have any female members or members of Afrodescendants, and the abolition of the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights announced by the vice president's government, are further signs of the risk of weakening of the institutional framework responsible for guaranteeing human rights.

In the face of these risks, Amnesty International reaffirms its willingness and commitment to continue defending the promotion and safeguarding of internationally recognized human rights and those enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution.