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Endangered Scholars Worldwide Deplores Attack on Freedom of Expression in Brazil’s Universities

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Reports claim that police officers and military have unleashed a full-scale operation in more than 20 public universities in Brazil as a result of the campaign and election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The measures, related for the most part to political advertising control, have been taken in institutions of higher education in several states and have triggered a reaction from the academic community and public interest organizations.

Students protest against president-elect Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Silvia Izquierdo/AP

On November 1, 2018 more than 107 academics, researchers, graduates, students, and staff members at universities across Europe signed a letter opposing the attacks on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide deplores and condemns the outrageous and unforgivable invasions of Brazilian universities by military police, as well as the confiscation of teaching materials on ideological grounds, particularly those opposing antifascist history and activism. We join other academic, intellectual, and political leaders in Europe, the US, and other regions to decry this attack on Brazil’s universities in the name of Bolsonaro’s wider aggressive, antiprogressive, and fascistic agenda.

We call upon all European governments, the US Department of State, international organizations, university presidents, academic and professional associations, student groups, and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn populist attacks on the pillars of Brazil’s democracy and education system. ESW urges the officials of the Brazilian Government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of autonomy of higher education as specified in the international conventions and treaties to which Brazil has long been a signatory.

We stand in solidarity with the students and faculty of the Brazilian universities that have been subjected to the attacks.

Please send appeals to the following:

Michael R. Pompeo

United States Secretary of State

Office of Foreign Missions

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520 USA


Nikki Haley

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations

799 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017 USA

P. Michael McKinley

Ambassador of the United States to Brazil

Embassy of the United States to Brazil

Rua Henri Dunant

500 Chácara Santo Antônio

São Paulo- SP, 04709-110


Fax: +55 11 5181 8730

Kishore Singh

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland


David Kaye

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and

protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10


Fax: +41 22 917 9006


Federica Mogherini

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security


European Commission

Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200

1049 Brussels


Thorbjørn Jagland

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Council of Europe

Avenue de l'Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex


Fax: + 33 3 88 41 27 99

Philippe Boillat

Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law

Council of Europe

Avenue de l'Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex


Fax: + 33 3 88 41 27 99

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