Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil leader Jair Bolsonaro criticised over obscene video on Twitter

President Jair Bolsonaro Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Bolsonaro: "This is what many street parties in the Brazilian Carnival have turned into"

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has provoked controversy by posting an obscene video of two revellers at Carnival, saying he wanted to reveal the truth about the festival.

The clip posted on Twitter shows two men engaging in sex acts on top of a taxi shelter during a street party.

The far-right leader suggested such scenes were becoming normal.

Mr Bolsonaro, a deeply divisive figure who has made racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks but was a clear winner in last year's election, was the focus of much criticism in many Carnival celebrations across Brazil.

The footage was shared by the president late on Tuesday - when the festivities were still under way - and includes one man urinating on another person in front of a crowd of revellers in what appears to be downtown São Paulo.

"I don't feel comfortable showing it, but we have to expose the truth so the population are aware," said the president to his 3.46 million followers.

"This is what many street parties in the Brazilian Carnival have turned into," he added, inviting people to "comment and reach their conclusions".

Some 35,000 comments followed. They included critics of the president, personalities and even people who said were his supporters and condemned his decision to post the video.

Others said they would report the president's post for offensive content. Hours later, a message of sensitive material was added to the video but it was not clear if it was an initiative by Twitter or Mr Bolsonaro himself.

Some users, however, have supported the president - elected with strong support of conservative and evangelical voters - condemning what they called "indecent" behaviour.

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Media captionFour things to know about Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro

The video was recorded on Monday during a street party known as a "bloco", Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reports, and it had sparked controversy even before the president's tweet.

Some witnesses said the scene was an isolated event, the newspaper adds.

Opposition lawmakers said they would ask prosecutors to investigate whether the president had broken privacy laws by posting the video.

Mr Bolsonaro, who likes to compare himself to US President Donald Trump, took office in January and often uses Twitter to engage with supporters and make official announcements.

The president's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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