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World News

Brazil police investigate Christmas Eve attack over 'blasphemous' Netflix show

by Press Association

Police in Brazil are investigating a video on social media showing a petrol bomb attack on a production company behind a Christmas programme on Netflix that some critics have described as blasphemous.

No-one was injured in the Christmas Eve attack on an empty video production house in Rio de Janeiro, and a security guard extinguished the flames.

But the emergence of a video in which a man claims responsibility for the attack in the name of a 1930s-era ultra-nationalist group has surprised many Brazilians who thought the movement had been consigned to history.

The man, whose voice is digitally altered, says the overnight attack targeted Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos for its Portuguese-language programme.

The man claims to speak for a group he calls the Command of Popular National Insurgence and says it is part of Brazil's "integralist" movement, which was inspired by Italian fascism during the 1930s.

He describes Porta dos Fundos, which has posted satires and parodies on its YouTube channel for years, as a group of Marxist militants.

The comedy group's short film, The First Temptation Of Christ, depicts Jesus returning home on his 30th birthday and insinuates he is gay.

Religious groups have criticised the depiction and an online petition launched in Brazil called for the film to be banned and drew more than two million signatures.

The video circulating on Thursday shows three people throwing petrol bombs over the wall in front of the video production house.

Police said the video matched security camera footage and was authentic.

"What remains to be proven is whether there exists a tie between a group and the incident," detective Marco Aurelio de Paula Ribeiro said.

Police have identified a vehicle and motorcycle involved in the firebombing, and said there were at least four suspects.

"We are going to find those responsible as fast as possible, also to prevent any future actions that this group may be planning," Fabio Barucke, a senior police official, said.

Porta dos Fundos defends its film.

"The country will survive this torment of hatred, and love will prevail together with freedom of expression," the group said on Twitter.

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