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Government must ensure an end to violence against journalists and commit to media pluralism

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 25 May 2012 - ARTICLE 19 has called upon member states of the United Nations to highlight freedom of expression and information in Brazil at the country's upcoming Universal Periodic Review on 25 May. ARTICLE 19 is concerned about the following issues:

Challenges to media pluralism and diversity
Risk of inadequate internet regulation
Overuse of defamation and persistence of desacato laws
Violence against journalist and human rights defenders
Challenges to the implementation of the new Access to Information Law
Lack of proper consultation and limited access to information regarding large development projects


CHALLENGES TO MEDIA PLURALISM

The 1962 Telecommunications Code, which controls the operation of media outlets, is technically and technologically outdated. Brazil has failed to introduce effective regulatory policies that allow independent public and community broadcasters to develop. Media ownership in Brazil has largely been concentrated in the hands of few, including congress representatives who hold TV and radio licenses. Licensing procedures are overly bureaucratic and lack transparency.

RISK OF INADEQUATE INTERNET REGULATIONS

Provisions in the proposed Bill on Cybercrimes (Projeto de Lei Azeredo) may limit free expression online due to its vague and open-ended definitions. The Bill also obligates internet service providers to disclose information on any crime that may have been committed through the internet, which will have a chilling effect on the free flow of information online.

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