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Brazil court overturns bar on '64 coup commemoration

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AFP Rio de Janeiro
An appeals court judge in Brazil on Saturday overturned another judge's decision to bar commemorations, sought by President Jair Bolsonaro, of a 1964 military coup.
Bolsonaro, a right-wing former paratrooper, on Monday ordered the military to observe the 55th anniversary of the coup "appropriately" in the nation's military barracks.
On Friday, Judge Ivani Silva da Luz in Brasilia declared that such a commemoration was "not compatible with the process of democratic reconstruction" promoted by the 1988 constitution.
But the ruling was overturned on Saturday by an appellate judge, Maria do Carmo Cardoso, who said a government legal filing -- emphasizing that Brazilian democracy was strong enough to support "a pluralism of ideas" -- was admissible.
"I see no violation of human rights, particularly as similar demonstrations took place in the barracks in preceding years, with no negative consequences," she wrote.
Troops in some barracks had gone ahead during the past week to mark the 1964 coup, which installed a dictatorship that lasted 21 years. A message from the defense minister citing the military as a necessary "rampart against totalitarianism" was read.
Bolsonaro, an ex-paratrooper and unabashed admirer of Brazil's former dictators, is the country's first president since democracy was restored in 1985 to publicly exalt the military regime, though he argues its rise to power was not a "coup." A 2014 report published by a national truth commission found that 434 assassinations were carried out in the years after the 1964 coup, as well as uncounted arbitrary detentions and cases of torture of political opponents.
Several demonstrations against the commemorations were planned for Sunday, under the banner of "Dictatorship -- Never Again.

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First Published: Mar 31 2019 | 1:05 AM IST

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