AP NEWS

Rabbi who challenged Brazil’s dictatorship dies in Miami

November 22, 2019
FILE - In this Oct 24, 2011 file photo, Rabbi Henry Sobel of Brazil attends the opening session of the 9th Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. Sobel, a leading human rights activist during Brazil’s military dictatorship, has died of lung cancer in a Miami hospital. Sobel’s family said in a statement the 75-year-old rabbi died Friday morning, Nov. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)
FILE - In this Oct 24, 2011 file photo, Rabbi Henry Sobel of Brazil attends the opening session of the 9th Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. Sobel, a leading human rights activist during Brazil’s military dictatorship, has died of lung cancer in a Miami hospital. Sobel’s family said in a statement the 75-year-old rabbi died Friday morning, Nov. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Rabbi Henry Sobel, a leading human rights activist during Brazil’s military dictatorship, has died of lung cancer in a Miami hospital.

Sobel’s family said in a statement the 75-year-old rabbi died Friday morning.

Sobel was born in Lisbon to a family of Polish immigrants and became a rabbi in New York. He arrived in Brazil in the 1970s and stayed for three decades.

His biggest challenge to Brazil’s dictatorship came in 1975 after the killing of journalist Vladimir Herzog in prison.

Authorities falsely claimed Herzog had committed suicide. Sobel decided to bury Herzog in the middle of a Jewish cemetery instead in one of the corners, as often happens to faithful that take their own lives.

Several Brazilian leaders from left, center and right sent condolences to the Sobel family.