No menu items!

Opinion: Brazil’s Supreme Court supports discrimination against the unvaccinated

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – (Opinion) On Monday, February 14, Justice Ricardo Lewandowski of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) prohibited the federal government from “receiving calls” from people who want to report discrimination for not being vaccinated against Covid-19. The complaints were received through the Human Rights Hotline “Disque 100” (“Dial 100”).

With this decision, the government will no longer be able to use Dial 100 to receive these complaints. Brazil experiences what court-ordered discrimination feels like – unjust.

Just two weeks ago, in a globally unique and bold move, Bolsonaro’s conservative government ensured that the unvaccinated could fight back and report discrimination cases to the Human Rights Hotline, just as any other vulnerable population groups and minorities are allowed and encouraged to do.

Lewandowski answered a request made to the STF by the leftist party Rede Sustentabilidade, which considered that the measure adopted by the government discouraged vaccination and disrespected the Court’s decision, going against scientists’ recommendations.

In addition to preventing the government from receiving complaints through Dial 100, Lewandowski also ordered the government to change two technical notes on the subject.

One was published by the Ministry of Health and defended that the vaccination of children should not be mandatory. The second was published by the Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights and points out that the vaccine passport violates human rights.

Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski.
Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski. (Photo: internet reproduction)

“It is up to the federal government, besides making available the immunizers and encouraging mass vaccination, to avoid the adoption of acts, without technical-scientific basis or out of line with the national legal system, which has the power to discourage the vaccination of adults and children against Covid-19,” pointed out the minister.


Recently, President Jair Bolsonaro stated he understands that Brazil lives a “dictatorship that comes through the pens“. Mainstream media ridiculed him, pretending not to understand what he meant or claiming his allegations had no fundament.

“What is the difference between a dictatorship that comes by force of arms, as we see, for example, in Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries, and a dictatorship that comes by the pen? What is the difference? None. So, you know what happened in Brazil,” said Bolsonaro.

According to the President, Supreme Court decisions would often go in the opposite direction of freedom. In light of Lewandowski’s recent decision, it seems that the Brazilian President is correct.

How can one small party order a decision from the Federal Supreme Court in a country with multiple parties, just as one orders a dish off the menu in a restaurant, when that decision affects the entire population?

What gives unelected, appointed Supreme Court justices the right to overturn decisions made by a democratically elected president? Is it their job to govern the people, or is it their job to ensure that the government respects the laws and the Constitution?

From this perspective, isn’t that the hallmark of a dictatorship? An unelected group of people exercising complete power over the population and imposing their own opinions and interests without regard for democracy?

Brazil’s Supreme Court justices have unilaterally, and de facto become the government, not with guns but, as Bolsonaro said, with pens.


The party Rede Sustentabilidade and Judge Ricardo Lewandowski claim that the free choice on Covid-19 and the protection against discrimination violate the “recommendations of scientists”.

Lewandowski also says the government enacts “laws without a technical, scientific basis or in contradiction to the national legal system.”

But what about him? Can this man legally prove what he says, or should we take his word for it like in a dictatorship? What are his technical-scientific arguments, and which scientists support his decision to discriminate against people? How are the protection acts against discrimination out of line with the national legal system?

Not to mention that these people in power seem to be out of date and out of touch with the latest studies and science on Covid-19 vaccines and restrictions.

The Brazilian mainstream media does not report on countries lifting their mandates and restrictions and keeps the Brazilian population ignorant of the latest international developments while obediently nodding off more restrictive regulations, more pressure, and more repression.

The distortion of reality is so perverse that those who force people to vaccinate against their will and discriminate against them if they dare to refuse, present themselves as the good, democratic people and are supported in this lie by the media.

In contrast, those who advocate freedom of choice and protection from discrimination are “not in accordance with the law.” Whose law?

Giving someone protection from discrimination and protecting their human rights will not stop anyone from doing anything they want to do.

On the other hand, people deprived of their fundamental rights and freedoms and subjected to discrimination and reprisals are not “encouraged” but forced to comply.

Forcing someone to do something against their will is a clear violation of human rights in any political system; in democracies, it is also illegal and a crime.

So who is really in conflict with the national legal system here?

Check out our other content