Brazilian President Bolsonaro sabotaged coronavirus relief measures, claims Human Rights Watch

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 13, 2021, 05.09 PM(IST)

File photo of Jair Bolsonaro. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reportedly tried to sabotage efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in his country, putting forward policies that further undermined the rights of Brazilians, Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed on Wednesday

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reportedly tried to sabotage efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in his country, putting forward policies that further undermined the rights of Brazilians, Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed on Wednesday.

The group also claimed that institutions such as the Supreme Court and Congress have stepped up efforts to protect citizens of Brazil, while blocking some dangerous policies put forward by the leader, as stated by the organisation in its annual world report.

Bolsonaro attempted to remove states authority over people's movements. But the Supreme Court ruled against Bolsonaro.

In addition, the country's top court prevented Bolsonaro from withholding data about COVID-19 from the public, additionally ordering the administration to come up with a plan which would protect indigenous groups in Brazil.

Also read: Brazil's Bolsonaro asks India to expedite vaccine shipment as delays loom

At the same time, Congress was passing a bill to provide emergency health care to indigenous groups.

Bolsonaro is famous for playing down the severity of the pandemic, initially calling it a "little flu". He also criticised lockdowns and social distancing measures. 

According to HRW, Bolsonaro has disseminated misleading information about the virus.

Also read: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says his country is 'broke' and he 'can't do anything'

Bolsonaro himself also caught COVID once, but even then his attitude towards the virus remained unchanged. He claimed that lockdowns will damage Brazil's economy and will leave many people out of work.

HRW also claimed that besides the pandemic, Bolsonaro has underplayed women's rights, lashing out at reporters and civil society groups. He has also bullied independent media in the country, the group said.

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