On August 21, 2021, military police reportedly used force to prevent higher education and high school students from protesting a visit by the Minister of Education to the city of Odessa.
The National Union of Students (UNE), National Association of Graduate Students (ANPG), and Brazilian Union of High School Students (UBES) held a protest outside of the Jardim Santa Rosa Sports Gym where Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro was attending a meeting with education secretaries and mayors. The students charged that Ribeiro was authoritarian and anti-democratic, and called on him to include student voices in decisions around higher education. Military police reportedly shoved students and forcibly removed UNE president Bruna Brelaz from the protest.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force by police in response to the nonviolent exercise of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct that is protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Brazil is a party. State authorities have an obligation to ensure the security of higher education communities and to refrain from violent or disproportionate actions in response to campus protests. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).