Democracy is under attack in Brazil. After deposing the democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff, a group of corrupt politicians took power to implement anti-union measures – including dismantling of workers’ rights, threats to public pensions, attacks on social protection and the cash transfer programmes; it has attempted to legalise forced labour by changing the definition of slavery and now it is trying to prevent former president Lula from running for office in the coming elections.
“President Lula brought millions of Brazilians out of poverty and is now facing political persecution without the right to a fair trial or due process of law”, said UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings. “We must take a stand and demand that democracy and the rule of law are respected in Brazil.”
Marcio Monzane, Regional Secretary of UNI Americas said, “The man on trial today is the man who led an inclusive government that tackled inequality and poverty, respected workers and unions, and effectively reduced the concentration of income in Brazil. The Brazilian elite cannot accept a political model with working people’s interests at its heart, and that is why Lula is being unfairly taken to court”.
On 24 January, a regional appeals court will decide on politically motivated and false charges against Lula. They want a guilty verdict to stop him standing for election again, destroy his reputation and remove his influence.
While trying to find a crime – any crime – to convict Lula in the courts, opponents of Brazil’s most important political leader engaged in a trial by media, in the most extraordinary defamation campaign against a public figure in the history of the country.
Lula’s lawyers have listed a number of violations of fundamental rights in the campaign against him, including deprivation of liberty, illegal phone tapping and leaking of correspondence, interception of his communications with his lawyers, the presumption of guilt without any evidence or trial, and the absence of an unbiased judge and of fair legal proceedings.
Powerful forces in Brazil are seeking to turn the clock back, undoing the progress his government made and returning the country into the hands of a small but all-powerful elite.
The prospect of Brazil returning to its infamous past is a threat to the people of Brazil and the rest of the world.
Support democracy in Brazil by demanding that the former president be judged fairly and that international human rights are respected.
Attached are draft letters in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese addressed to Michel Temer, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil. Please fill in your name and the name of your union, and send it to the following email: email@example.com
With copy (Cc) to:
Eunicio Oliveira, President of the Senate and the National Congress: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha, President of the National Council of Justice: email@example.com
Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha, President of the Supreme Federal Court: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raquel Elias Ferreira Dodge, President of the National Council of the Public Ministry and Attorney General of the Republic: email@example.com
Leandro Paulsen, Federal Judge of 8th Panel of the Regional Federal Court of the 4th Region (TRF4): firstname.lastname@example.org
João Paulo Gebran, Federal Judge: email@example.com
And blind copy (Bcc) to: firstname.lastname@example.org by January 22nd.