Power

Understanding Brazil’s National Security Law

Feds used National Security Law to indict Adelio Oliveira. Photo: Tania Rego/ABr
Feds used National Security Law to indict Adelio Oliveira. Photo: Guilherme Leite/Folhapress

Moments after stabbing far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the abdomen, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, 40, was arrested by the police. He confessed to the crime and was transferred to a federal prison in Campo Grande, in the center-west state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Then, he was indicted for a “personal assault driven by political non-conformity” under Brazil’s National Security Law, for which he could receive up to 10 years in prison (the sentence could double if it results in “severe body lesions” – which was the case).

The National Security Law was passed in 1983, in the...

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