IFLRY STATEMENT – The federal government of Brazil has been acting with severe physical and psychological violence against its opposition, ever since protests in June 2013 rallied over 2 million people. The most recent issue occurred on March 11th, 2014, when Juliano Torres, national coordinator of the student organisation Estudantes Pela Liberdade, was forced to testify by the federal police.

On March 13th, 2014, Torres was interrogated for three hours, when he was asked about all his political and ideological affiliations, his engagement in past and future demonstrations, possible sponsors and his recent international trips – which included attending the General Assembly of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) in Kraków, Poland. Estudantes pela Liberdade is a Member Organisation of IFLRY.

IFLRY President Christian Scharling: “We are outraged by these recent violations of political freedoms in Brazil. Juliano Torres, as other freedom fighters, has been actively and peacefully participating in several pro-liberties organisations and must not be intimidated for belonging to the opposition.”

IFLRY notices this is part of a wider undemocratic trend in the Brazilian presidency. Recently, president Dilma Rousseff has backed the Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro in his struggle against opposition demonstrators. The Brazilian authorities thus go against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.

Composed of more than 100 liberal organisations from more than 70 nationalities, IFLRY calls on the Brazilian authorities to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and refrain from intimidation of the opposition. IFLRY further urges Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to show her commitment to the same Universal Declaration of Human Rights by condemning the violence used against protesters in Venezuela. IFLRY will continue to be vigilant in the struggle against old and new dictatorships, and will keep denouncing abuses and attempts against democracy and human rights.