Bolsonaro has offended all journalists, São Paulo court rules

Bolsonaro has offended all journalists, São Paulo court rules

Monday, May 29th 2023 – 10:19 UTC

According to the plaintiffs, the former president’s statements were given “in a hostile, disrespectful, and humiliating manner”

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro must pay some US$ 10,000 in compensation for “collective moral damage” after having offended journalists while in office, a court of appeals ruled last week on a case filed in 2021 by the Union of Journalists of São Paulo.

The São Paulo court upheld a previous decision but cut the penalty money in half, from R$100,000 to R$50,000.

Bolsonaro will have to transfer the money to the State Fund for the Defense of Diffuse Rights, whose purpose is to promote the reparation of damages caused to the environment or rights of artistic or collective nature.

The former president’s defense had argued that “there was never censorship” and that Bolsonaro’s words were aimed at specific reporters.

In April 2021, the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of São Paulo (SJSP) filed a lawsuit against the former Brazilian president to stop offending, delegitimizing, and disqualifying the journalistic profession, in addition to leaking personal data of reporters.

SJSP lawyer Raphael Maia considered that Bolsonaro’s statements were given “in a hostile, disrespectful and humiliating manner, with the use of verbal violence, profanity, pejorative, homophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic expressions.”

Bolsonaro’s problems with the Judiciary have been growing exponentially: he had to testify for allegedly instigating the Jan. 8 coup attempt in Brasilia, in addition to irregularities regarding his vaccination against Covid-19 and the misappropriation of some jewelry gifts from foreign countries.

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