BRASILIA – Amnesty International launched on Monday a campaign to defend Brazilians’ rights it feels could be “suppressed” by 138 projects that are currently being debated in Parliament.
“They are bills representing a sharp reversal of the rights Brazilians have,” the executive director of AI in Brazil, Jurema Werneck, said at an event held in front of the legislature in Brasilia.
Among several examples, the activist cited a bill intended to make regulations governing citizens’ access to “personal defense” weapons more flexible, a measure being pushed by some of the parties in the coalition backing President Michel Temer.
“Almost 60,000 people are murdered each year in Brazil,” said Werneck, basing her comment on government statistics, adding that the public “expects a responsible Congress that establishes laws that control even more the ownership and use of firearms, and not (laws) that free things up.”
According to Werneck, the 138 bills that have been identified as a “potential risk to the rights” of Brazilians deal with issues of public security, repression of protests, sexuality and the creation of new indigenous territories, among others.
Participating in the event headed by Werneck before Congress were a number of AI activists, who wore masks representing influential politicians who are supporting those bills and held signs on which could be read “Don’t blow our rights.”
The aim of the human rights defense organization is to begin a signature collection campaign with an eye toward presenting the document to Congress to demand that bills considered to be “harmful to rights” be shelved.