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A GROUP of men claiming to be supporters of far-right Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro carried out a sickening physical attack on an opposition supporter this week, carving a swastika into her stomach with a knife.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, alleged that she was assaulted by the men after getting off a bus in the Cidade Baixa neighbourhood in Porto Alegre.
She told police that the group surrounded her after noticing her T-shirt with the #NotHim logo, a symbol of opposition to Mr Bolsonaro, who came top in the first round of the presidential elections last weekend.
After she was physically assaulted, the 19-year-old claimed one of the men pulled a penknife from his pocket and carved a swastika into her stomach.
The image provoked outraged after it circulated on social media, with many fearing a return to the dark days of the military junta if Mr Bolsonaro is successful in his bid for the presidency.
He faces an October 28 second round run-off against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad, who served as education minister in the Lula government.
Mr Bolsonaro faces mass opposition from women, with millions marching in towns and cities across Brazil as part of the #NotHim movement in response to his misogynistic politics.
They are calling for people not to vote for the former army captain, who has made light of rape and insists that the gender pay gap is justified.
The left has swung behind Mr Haddad as campaigning enters a critical stage. Both the Brazilian Socialist Party and the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) have called on supporters to vote for the PT candidate to stop the authoritarian Mr Bolsonaro in his tracks.
PSOL warned in a statement: “The second round is the continuity of the fight against fascism and the coup; the main task now is therefore to defeat Bolsonaro.”
International rallies are set to take place in 52 cities across the world in 24 countries organised by the non-partisan Women United Against Bolsonaro Facebook group, which boasts over two million supporters.
Manuela d’Avila, the PT candidate for the vice-presidency and member of the Brazilian Communist Party, called on the public to join the group, “because women are those who suffer the impact of the crisis with greater intensity and we are used to that.”
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