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Press briefing notes on Brazil and Finland

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location:     Geneva
Date: 22 March 2016

(1) Brazil

We are concerned about the increasingly politicised and heated debate that has engulfed Brazil over the past few days and weeks. We urge the Government, as well as politicians from other parties, to cooperate fully with the judicial authorities in their investigations into allegations of high-level corruption, and to avoid any actions that could be construed as a means of obstructing justice. At the same time, we urge the judicial authorities to act scrupulously within the confines of international and domestic law, and to avoid taking partisan political positions.   

We are concerned that a vicious circle may be developing that risks discrediting both the executive and the judiciary, thereby doing serious long-term damage to the State, and to the democratic achievements made in the past 20 years during which Brazil has been governed under a Constitution which provides strong human rights guarantees.

(2) Finland

In Finland, the Government’s proposed new legislation on the Forest and Park Enterprise to regulate the management of State owned lands and waters was discussed in Parliament last week. We are concerned that the Bill, as it stands, may lead to a significant weakening of the Sami indigenous people's rights over their traditional lands and resources. We encourage the Government of Finland to further consult with the Sami with a view to obtain their free, prior and informed consent prior to adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them, and to ensure that adequate safeguards.


For more information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)

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