Brazilian comedians protest law that prohibits political jokes

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  • August 23, 2010

By Maira Magro

A group of comedians gathered Sunday, Aug. 22, on the beach of Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro, to demonstrate against a law that bans parodies and jokes about candidates during election campaigns in Brazil, reported O Globo.

The participants carried signs hat branded the prohibition as censorship. Recently, comedians also launched a wave of protests through social networks, calling for changes to electoral law, said O Globo.

An article of the law 9.504 forbids radio and television stations from using a montage or other audio and video resources, in whatever form, to "degrade or ridicule a candidate, party or coalition." Violations of the law are punishable by a fine of roughly $57,000, explained Estadão.

Although the law is from 1997, señala Terra, these campaigns for the October elections is the first time the law is being applied.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.