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In a recent decision¹, the Brazilian Supreme Court held that the removal of images of public agents, defendants in the “Carandiru” case, from the news constituted censorship.

In this case, part of the police officers that were defendants in a criminal lawsuit related to the “Carandiru” massacre filed a civil lawsuit against UOL, Rede Globo and Rede TV, arguing that the broadcast of news containing the plaintiffs’ images would be illegal because of the order of secrecy granted in the criminal lawsuit regarding their qualification.

After the preliminary injunction request was rejected, the Court of Appeals of the State of São Paulo ordered the removal of the plaintiffs’ images from the news.

Upon deciding the appeal filed by UOL, the Supreme Court acknowledged the public and journalistic interest in the case, as the news portrayed true facts. The Court also held that the appealed decision would constitute censorship because it had disproportionately limited freedom of speech, and authorized the broadcast of the images.

¹ Constitutional Claim No.  31.315