Protests marking the first day of the World Cup in Brazil have been quickly repressed by the police.
“Within 15 minutes of protests starting, they had already been shut down by the state security services,” said Paula Martins, ARTICLE 19 Director for South America.
“The repression started by police checks on personal belongings and blockades into the area of Carrão metro station. Then police barriers were formed, and the police began using less lethal weapons such as rubber bullets and tear gas,” she added.
“So far, two reporters have been injured, including one for CNN. At least three protesters have been arrested.”
After being dispersed, many protesters jointed a metro workers’ union protest. The police then moved in to the the union headquarters, trapping injured protesters inside. The police are currently outside, threatening to enter the building by force at any time.
Since the protests of June 2013, there has been a noticeable intensification of excessive force by state security forces as a means to repress widespread demonstrations.
ARTICLE 19 condemns acts of repression and police violence aimed at preventing freedom of expression in protests around the World Cup. It is imperative that a democratic country provides space for all opinions expressed.