At the UN, Ernesto criticizes “ sacrificing freedom in the name of health ” and censorship on social networks – 22/02/2021 – World

Brazilian Chancellor Ernesto Araújo criticized the restrictions adopted to contain the pandemic and censorship in social networks, in a speech before the UN Human Rights Council on Monday (22).

“Fundamental freedoms are threatened today by growing challenges, and the Covid crisis has only exacerbated these trends. Entire societies are getting used to the idea that freedom must be sacrificed for the sake of health, ”Ernesto said, in a recorded video. The meeting takes place virtually due to the pandemic.

“I am not criticizing the lockdown and other measures, which so many countries apply, but one cannot accept a lockdown of the human mind, which depends on freedom and human rights to be fully exercised.” , he continued.

His speech echoes the speeches of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has made many criticisms and irony on the social isolation measures determined by mayors and governors, in order to contain the advance of the Covid-19.

The minister also criticized the control of information on social networks. “The big challenge today is what I call technotalitarianism, blocking platforms and websites from controlling content and information, legal action and laws that criminalize online activities for use. abusive or erroneous algorithms. Internet by different actors, motivated by economic or ideological objectives, must be stopped ”.

Ernesto called on other countries to push forward the discussions on this topic. “Our task is to ensure that technologies serve to magnify the human being, not to subdue or diminish him, turning every man and woman into a mere collection of data to explore,” he said. .

In recent months, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have taken tougher measures to stem the flow of fake news and lies, often spread by right-wing leaders. In the case of a bigger impact, Twitter blocked the profile of former President Donald Trump, considered an ally by the Bolsonaro administration after he published a series of false information about the election.

Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council are held at least three times a year. The current, the 46th, began on Monday (22) and will continue until March 23. As a rule, each country submitted the declaration of only one representative. In this edition, Ernesto shared the time of Brazil with Damares Alves, Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights.

Damares recorded his speech in a room with a headdress and a photo of indigenous peoples in the background. She listed several federal government programs aimed at protecting Amazon residents, children, women, and the elderly.

“Indigenous peoples, quilombolas and other isolated peoples, for example, have benefited from more than 700,000 basic food baskets, so they can stay in their communities, away from areas of contamination,” he said. . “We take care not only of the Amazon, but also of its inhabitants”

“We guarantee the priority vaccination of the elderly population, carried out in parallel with that of health professionals and traditional peoples”, declared the Minister. However, vaccination is experiencing delays in Brazil and most older people still do not know when they will be able to get vaccinated, as the federal government has been slow to sign contracts to purchase vaccines.

Like Ernesto, Damares stressed that Brazil “stands firm” in the defense of democracy and freedom. She also added that the country defends “family and life, from conception,” to make it clear that the Brazilian government is against abortion.

In June 2020, Brazil opposed the creation by the Human Rights Council of a commission to investigate cases of police violence against blacks that occurred specifically in the United States, requested shortly after the assassination of George Floyd. Washington left the council in June 2018, under the Donald Trump administration, and accused the body of being hypocritical and of having an anti-Israel bias. We are a family business.

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