The centre of Rio de Janeiro came to a standstill on Tuesday (14 August) night when about twenty thousand demonstrators marched through the streets calling for an amnesty for all political prisoners in Brazil.
The centre of Rio de Janeiro came to a standstill on Tuesday (14 August) night when about twenty thousand demonstrators marched through the streets calling for an amnesty for all political prisoners in Brazil. The much heralded Amnesty Bill introduced by President Joao Baptista Figueiredo in June did not apply to all categories of prisoners.
SYNOPSIS: Police stayed as thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of Rio to the town centre. High hopes when General Figueiredo came to power in March have not been entirely fulfilled for all in Brazil.
The long-promised Amnesty Bill disappointed many Brazilians. Although foreign political exiles would be allowed to return and resume political activity, the amnesty would not extend to jailed members of urban guerrilla movements. Each of them could request amnesty on an individual basis, but most of the fifty-six prisoners still in jail under the national security laws have not receive encouraging replies.
Another defect seen by many in the Amnesty Bill is that it does not provide for the full re-instatement of people who lost their jobs for political reasons.
Members of armed forces who were dismissed for political reason would not be allowed to return, though they would receive full instead of partial pensions. Member of the professions would be allowed to return to work only on the approval of special commissions.
But many of them, particularly university teachers, have refused to submit to this procedure, and the movement for a more comprehensive amnesty has been steadily growing.