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RJ: Academic is accused of racism after anti-Semitic posts

The president of the Academia Friburguense de Letras (AFL), Maria Janaína Botelho Corrêa, could be held responsible for the crimes of religious intolerance, prejudice and racism. On social media, Botelho, who is also a teacher in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, made posts attacking the Jewish community.

In one of them, on January 4th, Janaína said, in response to a publication by journalist Caio Blinder: “It is time to take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and carry out selective murders of Zionist Jews”.

In other posts made between January and February of this year, the academic writes: “I am also anti-Semitic. So what?”, and in another message she calls Jews “scoundrels”.

The content was analyzed by the Rio de Janeiro Police Station for Racial Crimes and Intolerance Offenses (Decradi), which, after hearing the accused and a witness, indicted Botelho. The final report from the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police on the case has already been sent to the state Public Ministry.

According to delegate Rita Salim, there is evidence that the messages posted were made by the person being investigated on the social network. To the police, the academic confirmed that she made the publications and said she regretted some of them.

“The content of the posts clearly contains discriminatory content offensive to the Jewish community, as well as the dissemination of hate speech that can be fully combated, under penalty of inciting racism being propagated. Furthermore, the publications were disseminated through a social network, which certainly has the power to maximize the reach of this discriminatory conduct, directly influencing the members of this social network in order to propagate and encourage prejudice and religious intolerance, punishable by legislation” , explained the delegate.

The delegate recalled that “practicing, inducing or inciting discrimination or prejudice based on race, color, ethnicity, religion or national origin” is a crime, according to Brazilian law. The expected penalty is one to three years, in addition to a fine.

According to the Academy's website, Maria Janaína Botelho is a historian, writer, journalist, university professor and poet. She took office on October 4, 2012, as chair number 31 at the Academia Friburguense de Letras and assumed the presidency of the AFL in 2022.

A CNN sought out the accused and the AFL and is awaiting positioning.

Source: CNN Brasil

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