24 October 1997


Article of legislation currently being debated in Congress threatens press freedom

Incident details

legal action

(RSF/IFEX) - Article 9 of Section 5 of a media bill currently
being debated in the Brazilian Congress provides for sentences
ranging from 30 days to one year of community work ("trabalhos de
interesse comunitario") for journalists convicted of libel,
slander or insult. They could also be fined anywhere from R$ 2000
to 100,000 (roughly the same amount in US dollars). Furthermore,
if the community work sentences are not carried out, they will be
converted into prison sentences of a minimum of 30 days.

**Further details to IFEX alert dated 16 October 1997**

Journalists in Brazil fear that the legislation poses serious
consequences for offending media outlets and journalists,
possibly leading, in the case of the former group, to their

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • indicating that Article 9 of Section 5 of the media bill
    constitutes a serious attack on press freedom
  • calling on them to use their influence so that this article is
    not approved and adopted by Brazilian legislators

    Appeals To

    Senator Antonio Carlos Magalhaes
    President of the Senate and President of the Brazilian Parliament
    Senado Federal
    Pca dos Tres Poderes
    Ed. Principal
    1 andar
    Brasilia, Brazil
    Fax: +55 61 311 1600

    Representative Michel Temer
    President of the House of Representatives
    Camara dos Deputados
    Pca. dos Tres Poderes
    Ed. Principal
    70160-900 Brasilia, Brazil
    Fax: +55 61 224 1289

    Copies to:

    His Excellency Fernando Henrique Cardoso
    Palacio do Planalto
    Brasilia DF, Brazil
    Fax: +55 61 226 7566

    Sergio Motta
    Minister of Communications
    Brasilia DF, Brazil
    Fax: +55 61 226 3980

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris, France
    rsf (@) rsf.org

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51

    IFEX members working in this country 1

    More from Brazil