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MOVIMENTO NACIONAL DE DIREITOS HUMANOS

Luta pela Vida, Contra a Violência

Rio de Janeiro, October 19th 2021

Report About Violations of Human Rights

To the Honorable Mr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion


or Belief

Re: Situation of Violation of Honor and Religious Freedom by Discriminatory Speech by


State Deputy Frederico D'Avila.

I. Purpose of the Communication

The Submitter's representative comes, respectfully, before the Honorable Mr


Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to present the
following Report on the Situation of Violation of Human Rights of the honor and religious
freedom of the Catholic Church by the discriminatory declarations of state deputy
Frederico D'Avila.

II. Submitter

MOVIMENTO NACIONAL DE DIREITOS HUMANOS - MNDH, a legal person under


CNPJ/MF nº 32.902.132/0001-03, domiciled at SEPN, Quadra 506, Conjunto C, nº 16,
Loja nº 07, Semi Enterrado, Asa Norte, Brasília, DF, CEP 70740- 504, through its attorneys
under the power of attorney, come before the UN Special Rapportuer, to formulate the
REPORT.

Subscribe the presente Report, the Fórum Ecumênico ACT-Brasil, Conselho


Nacional de Igrejas Cristãs do Brasil – CONIC, Conselho Latino-Americano de Igrejas –
CLAI Brasil, Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviço – CESE, Fundação Luterana de
Diaconia – FLD, Koinonia – Presença Ecumênica e Serviço, Comissão Ecumênica dos
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Luta pela Vida, Contra a Violência

Direitos da Terra – CEDITER, Centro Ecumênico de Serviço à Evangelização,


Capacitação e Assessoria – CECA, Centro Ecumênico de Serviços à Evangelização e
Educação Popular – CESEEP, Centro Ecumênico de Estudos Bíblicos – CEBI, Diaconia –
Organização Social de Serviço, Universidade Popular – UNIPOP, Comissão Ecumênica
de Combate ao Racismo – CENACORA, Dia Mundial de Oração – DMO, Associação de
Seminários Teológicos – ASTE, Programa de Formação e Educação Comunitária –
PROFEC, Rede Ecumênica da Juventude – REJU, Plataforma de Ação e Diálogo – PAD,
Centro de Articulação de Populações Marginalizadas – CEAP, Congregação Espírita
Umbandista do Brasil – CEUB, Templo Umbandista Vovó Maria Conga do Congo, Ilé
Assé D’Ogun Já Tenda Espírita Caboclo Pena Verde, Centro de Integração da Cultura
Afrobrasileira – CIAFRO, Ilé Axé D’Ogun Já, Irmandade Religiosa e Cultural
Afrobrasileira – IRMAFRO, Federação Israelita do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – FIERJ, ABL-
Afro, Assembléia Espiritual Local dos Bahá’ís do Rio de Janeiro – AEL-Rio, Conselho
Regional de Defesa da Religião-Umbanda e Tradição dos Orixás e Cultura – Credretoc–
JF/MG, Tenda dos Pretos-Velhos, Ilê Axé Oxalufan, Casa Brasileira, Irmandade dos
Crêoulos Africanos Muculmanos Malês – Icammalês, Uniao Cigana do Brasil, Nafro –
Ba, Nafro - Rj, Sociedade Beneficente Muçulmana do Rio de Janeiro, Associação
Religiosa Israelita do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Associação das Escolas Católicas do
Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Igreja Presbiteriana de Jacarepaguá, Igreja Episcopal
Anglicana do Brasil, Movimento Umbanda do Amanha – Muda, União Wicca do Brasil,
Temenos Aetós Thesmophoros – Tradição Wiccana Helática, Tenda Espírita Caboclo
Flecheiro, Casa de Cláudia, Sociedade Internacional para a Bhakti Yoga Pura (SIBYP),
Centro de Estudos Bíblicos – Cebi, Conselho Espírita do Estado do Rio de Janeiro,
Sociedade Internacional para a Consciência de Krsna ISKCON, Paróquia São João
Batista (Igreja da Matriz) – São João de Meriti, Hillel Rio, Associação Beneficente e
Cultural Bnai Brith do Rio de Janeiro, União Espiritualista de Umbanda d o Estado do
Rio de Janeiro, Budismo Primordial, Ilê Axé Edem de Ayrá, Casa de Caridade
Irmandade Batuira e Pai Miguel das Almas, Casa de Caridade Pai Benedito d’Angola,
Grande Loja Maçonica do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Círculo Religioso Pai Joaquim de

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Aruanda – Cirpaija, IUPOL – Ucam, Associação de Proteção aos Umbandistas e


Candoblecistas do Brasil – Aspuc, Lar de Pai Januário e Tia Sabina, Templo
Espiritualista de Jagum, Centro Espírita São João Batista, Cantinho Espiritualista de
Umbanda Pai João das Almas – Ceupajo, União Espiritualista de Umbanda do Estado
do Rio de Janeiro, Associação Umbanda Cultos Afros – Auca, Ilê Oxossy Omolu Oxum,
Ilê de Oyá, Axé Kwe L’ossu, Primado de Umbanda, Igreja do Culto Ecletico da Fluente
Luz Universal - Patrono Padrinho Sebastião, Movimento Inter-religioso do Rio de
Janeiro (MIR), Conselho Indigenista Missionário (Cimi), a Articulação para o
Monitoramento dos Direitos Humanos no Brasil (AMDH) e o Instituto de Direitos
Humanos, Econômicos, Sociais, Culturais e Ambientais (IDHESCA).

III. Victims

The victims are all members and faithful of the Catholic Church, in particular
Archbishop Dom Orlando Brandes, Pope Francis and the National Confederation of
Bishops of Brazil.

IV. Perpetrator

State Deputy Frederico D'Avila of the PLS party, legislative representative of the
State of São Paulo, a federative entity of the Federative Republic of Brazil, member of
the United Nations, a subscriber with ratification of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights by Decree No. 592 on July 6th of 1992, and with recognition with the
International Human Rights System regarding the Human Rights Council of the United
Nations, through Decree No. 19,841, of October 22, 1945 (Promulgates the Charter of
the United Nations, signed in San Francisco, on the 26th June 1945).

V. Information on Human Rights Violations

State deputy Frederico D'Avila, from the Liberal Social Party-PSL, during the
session of the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo (ALESP) on October 14, 2021, delivered
an offensive and discriminatory speech to members of the Catholic Church, especially

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Luta pela Vida, Contra a Violência

Archbishop Dom Orlando Brandes, Pope Francisco and the “Conferência Nacional de
Bispos do Brasil – CNBB” (National Conference of Bishops of Brazil).

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil is a permanent institution that


brings together the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Brazil and Archbishop Dom Orlando
Brandes is the bishop of the city of Aparecida, in São Paulo.

State deputy Frederico D'Avila, during the ALESP session, manifested an


offensive and discriminatory speech when declaring:

“[...] I want to complement here, to speak to Archbishop Dom


Orlando Brandes, vagabond, bastard of the CNBB, sending a
message to the President and to the Brazilian population that a
beloved homeland is not an armed homeland. Armed homeland
is the homeland that doesn't submit to that rabble, you bastard
and your CNBB propagator of liberation theology, you hide behind
your cassock to proselytize politically, to convert good people to
your ideology. The last thing you take care of is people's soul and
spirituality, you vagabond, you bastard, who submits himself to
that vagabond Pope, as well. The last thing you take care of is the
spirit and well-being and the comfort of people's souls, who do
you think you are to keep using the cassock and the altar to
proselytizing politically, you pedophiles, bastards. The CNBB is a
cancer, a cancer and needs to be excised from Brazil and I want to
embrace here Opus Dei and the "Arautos do evangelho" that they
do take care of people, and are persecuted by disgusting people
like you, Dom Orlando Brandes and your filthy CNBB, bastards,
bastards.” [our translation]

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Luta pela Vida, Contra a Violência

The video of the declaration can be found at the link Deputado estadual
Frederico D’Avila (PSL-SP) xinga arcebispo de Aparecida, CNBB e Papa Francisco -
YouTube or below.

Therefore, direct offenses to Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church and head
of State of Vatican City, Archbishop Dom Orlando Brandes and the CNBB as
representatives of the Catholic Church in Brazil stand out, resulting in a clear offense
and discrimination against the Catholic religion, a violating act of human rights as
provided for in international treaties.

The CNBB published an Open Letter addressed to the President of the Legislative
Assembly of the State of São Paulo and to Brazilian citizens, “strongly rejecting the
abominable aggressions” made by the deputy, the full letter is found below:

“OPEN LETTER

P - No. 0325/21

Hon. Mr.

State Deputy Carlão Pignatari

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Luta pela Vida, Contra a Violência

President of the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo

Brazilian citizens

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil-CNBB, in this


legislative house and before the Brazilian people, strongly rejects
the abominable attacks by state deputy Frederico D'Avila, last
October 14, from the Tribuna of the Legislative Assembly of the
State of São Paulo. With uncontrolled hatred, the
parliamentarian attacked the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the
CNBB, and particularly the Hon. and Rev. Mr Dom Orlando
Brandes, Archbishop of Aparecida. He injured and compromised
the parliamentary mission, which requires immediate and
exemplary correction by the competent authorities.

Throughout its 69-year history, celebrated on the day this


deplorable event occurred, the CNBB has never cowered in the
face of the most difficult situations, it has always fulfilled its
mission deserving of respect for its religious, moral and social
relevance in Brazilian society. Also, it never condoned violent
attitudes from anyone. It was never intimidated. Now, faced
with a mediocre and hateful speech, lacking in lucidity, a model
of abominable political posture that needs to be extirpated and
judicially corrected for the good of Brazilian democracy, the
CNBB, once again, raises its voice.

The CNBB is prophetically anchored, without fear of persecution,


on the following principle: the Church always claims the freedom
to which it is entitled, to pronounce its moral judgment on social
realities, whenever the fundamental rights of the person, the
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common good or human salvation demands it (cf. Gaudium et


Spes, 76).

Defending and committed to the Democratic Rule of Law, the


CNBB respectfully expects from this egregious legislative house,
relying on its credibility, effective internal, legal and regimental
measures, so that this outrageous disrespect is repaired in
proportion to its gravity - a sign of commitment unyielding with
the construction of a democratic and civilized society.

The CNBB, promptly committed to the truth and the good of the
people of God, whom it serves, will deal with this serious matter
within the appropriate judicial parameters. The offenses and
accusations made by the parliamentarian – protagonist of this
deplorable spectacle – will be the object of his interpellation so
that they can be clarified and proven in the instances that
safeguard the truth and the good – in a demanding manner
under the terms of the Law.

On this occasion, we register and reaffirm our unconditional


respect and our affection for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, as
well as our solidarity with all the bishops of Brazil. The CNBB
awaits a quick response from Your Excellency – an exemplary
and inspiring posture for all legislative bodies, judicial bodies and
other segments so that Brazilian society is not sacrificed or
imprisoned by mediocre minds.

In Christ Jesus, "Way, Truth and Life", fraternally,

Brasília-DF, October 16, 2021” [our translation]

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VI. Legal Aspects

The situation discussed here, the offensive and discriminatory declaration of


state deputy Frederico D'Avila results in violations of international human rights and
fundamental rights provided for in national instruments.

The Federal Constitution in article 5, VI establishes the right to religious freedom


and in item X the right to honor and image:

“Art. 5. Everyone is equal before the law, without distinction of


any kind, guaranteeing Brazilians and foreigners residing in the
country the inviolability of the right to life, liberty, equality,
security and property, in the following terms:

VI - freedom of conscience and belief is inviolable, the free


exercise of religious cults being ensured and, in accordance with
the law, the protection of places of worship and their liturgies is
guaranteed;

X - the intimacy, private life, honor and image of people are


inviolable, ensuring the right to compensation for material or
moral damage resulting from its violation.” [our translation]

It is worth noting that the Brazilian State is based on the dignity of the human
person, according to article 1, III and aims to promote the good of all without
discrimination or any form of prejudice, established in article 3, IV.

In view of this legal scenario, the violations arising from the discriminatory
statement made by state deputy Frederico D'Avila are pointed out as directly offending
the honor of individual members and representatives of the Catholic Church,
consequently offending and discriminating against the religion they represent, resulting
in a violation of freedom and religious expression.

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In this sense, the situation presented here violates the right to freedom of
religion provided for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

“Article 18:

1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience


and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a
religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or
in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his
religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his


freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject


only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary
to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the
fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have


respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal
guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their
children in conformity with their own convictions.”

As well, in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has


the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to
change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and
in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and
observance.”

Also noteworthy is the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance


and Discrimination Based on Religion or Convictions adopted by the UN General
Assembly on November 25, 1981.
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It should be noted that according to article 20 of the International Covenant on


Civil and Political Rights, any advocacy of religious hatred “that constitutes incitement
to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

In this regard, Human Rights Committee General Comment No. 11 of 1983 states
that article 20 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is fully compatible with
freedom of expression, as this freedom carries special responsibilities and duties.
Therefore, freedom of expression should be restricted when the speech given
constitutes an incitement to discrimination and religious hatred, as can be seen in the
deputy's statements.

In that way, there is no need to talk about freedom of expression in this case,
since the deputy's statement abuses this right by exercising it contrary to the provisions
of international instruments, exceeding the limits established for the exercise of this
right.

Furthermore, article 17 of the Covenant on political civil rights establishes the


protection of honor and reputation in "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful
interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks
on his honour and reputation.” As well as, "e veryone has the right to the protection of
the law against such interference or attacks.”

Therefore, considering the provisions of international human rights instruments,


the statements made by the state deputy violate the honor and image of the members
of the Catholic Church, as well as incite discrimination against religion resulting in a clear
violation of human rights, which is why this Petitioner submits the Report to the Hon.
Special Rapporteur requests the Brazilian State to adopt the necessary measures in
relation to the facts.

VII. Conclusion

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The declaration of state deputy Frederico D'Avila in calling the Archbishop Dom
Orlando Brandes a “vagabond”, “bastard” and “scoundrel”, that the CNBB is a “cancer”,
“scoundrels” and “pedophiles” and calling Pope Francis a “vagabond” constitutes a
violation of human rights as established by international instruments.

In this regard, the Submitter presents the Report to the Honorable Special
Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief of the UN, in order to:

A. To request the Special Rapporteur Mr Ahmed Shaheed a position regarding


the serious violation of the human rights of honor, dignity, freedom of
expression and religious freedom mentioned;
B. To request the Special Rapporteur Mr Ahmed Shaheed to urge the Brazilian
State to adopt measures of accountability and reparation for the damages
caused by human rights violations to Archbishop Dom Orlando Brandes, the
CNBB, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

CARLOS NICODEMOS
OAB/RJ 75.208

MARIA FERNANDA FERNANDES CUNHA


OAB/RJ 233.268

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