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Brazil high court against police action in public universities

Supporters of far-right lawmaker and presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), Jair Bolsonaro, celebrate in Rio de Janeiro, after the former army captain won Brazil’s presidential election. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police should not act inside universities © AFP / Carl DE SOUZA

Brasília, Brazil, Nov 1 – Brazil’s Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that military police should not intervene on public university campuses, after they launched campus operations against students who oppose far-right president elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro, elected in a runoff vote on Sunday, campaigned on a platform that included promises to crack down on violent crime while expanding gun rights.

During the court hearing, the nine magistrates said police action on university campuses should stop, because it affects freedom of expression and thought at the universities.

The ruling sets a precedent just as tensions are running high before Bolsonaro is sworn in.

“There is no democratic right without respect of freedoms,” said Judge Carmen Lucia Antunes, who was rapporteur for the case.

“The only legitimate force that can invade universities is that of free and plural ideas; any other is tyranny,” she added.

Bolsonaro takes office in Latin America’s biggest nation and largest economy in January.

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