Expulsions of Protesters at Rio Olympics Draw Rebukes


A protester was removed by security force officers during an archery match Saturday.

Diego Azubel/European Pressphoto Agency

RIO DE JANEIRO — The expulsions of ticket holders from Olympic sites after they protested Michel Temer, Brazil’s interim president, is fueling a debate over the limits of freedom of expression in a country that remains on edge amid a period of extraordinary political upheaval.

Videos, news reports and first-person accounts that circulated widely in Brazil on Sunday on social media showed the removal of several fans at a women’s soccer match in the city of Belo Horizonte. They had lined up wearing T-shirts reading “Out with Temer” while holding aloft letters that read in English, “Come back democracy.”

Juca Kfouri, one of Brazil’s most prominent sports columnists, called the expulsions “repressive stupidity.”

“This will only encourage new demonstrations,” Mr. Kfouri said.

The protest in Belo Horizonte, along with others at sites in Rio de Janeiro, pointed to the low approval ratings of Mr. Temer, 75, the career politician who emerged victorious in a power struggle against Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended to face an impeachment trial over claims that she had manipulated the federal budget to conceal economic problems.

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Competition, in a Swirl of Color

CreditJames Hill for The New York Times

Ms. Rousseff, like Mr. Temer, is also deeply unpopular. But as she strays from the spotlight, Mr. Temer is receiving greater scrutiny over testimony tying him to illegal campaign financing operations.

Executives at the construction giant Odebrecht told investigators that Mr. Temer had requested more than $3 million for his centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. As part of a plea deal they are seeking, the Odebrecht…

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