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Satire banned in Brazil
Posted: 18 August 2010 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Brazil’s comedians and satirists have been banned from making fun of candidates ahead of the nation’s presidential election in October.

The legal ban could last until a possible runoff on Oct 31.

Brazilian performers are planning to fight for their right to ridicule with protests in Rio de Janeiro and other cities on Sunday.

Dubbed the “anti-joking law”, the relic of Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship prohibits ridiculing candidates in the three months before elections.

Critics say the ban threatens free speech and is a blight on the reputation of Latin America’s largest nation.

“Do you know of any other democracy in the world with rules like this?” asked Marcelo Tas, the acerbic host of a weekly TV comedy show that skewers politicians and celebrities alike.

“If you want to find a bigger joke, you would have to look to Monty Python.”

Proponents say the restrictions keep candidates from being portrayed unfairly, help ensure a level playing field and encourage candour by those seeking to replace centre-Left President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Making fun of candidates on air ahead of elections is punishable by fines up to

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