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News > Latin America

Brazil: Lawmakers Fear for Lula's Safety, Health in Prison, Call for Probe Into Helicopter Audio

  • Police stand guard in front of supporters of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    Police stand guard in front of supporters of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 April 2018

Amid concerns for Lula's safety, federal police have requested that the former head of state be "immediately transferred" to a military prison.

The Workers' Party (PT) and Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) have expressed concern for the health and safety of former  President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as he remains imprisoned in Curitiba, Parana.

Brazil: Workers' Party Asserts 'Lula's Presidential Candidacy'

Fearing that Lula's meals and other items could be tampered with, the PT has contacted Raul Jungmann, head of the Ministry of Public Security, to request that particular care be taken in the preparation of his food.

The PCdoB requested that federal police investigate an audio recording that surfaced on social media, allegedly from the helicopter transporting Lula to prison in Curitiba. In the recording, an unidentified voice says: "Throw that trash out of the window" and "Take him and never bring him back."

Congresswoman and PCdoB President Luciana Santos said: "We consider the audio inciting violence against Lula to be a crime and we believe that an investigation is needed to punish the individual or individuals."

She also said the PCdoB would contact the Attorney General's office to take the proper measures against the person responsible.

Jandira Feghali, another PCdoB congresswoman, said the audio "incites aggression and the death of Lula," as well as demonstrates the political polarization gripping Brazil: "This is a political crime... If nobody is punished, these types of acts can increase."

Amid concerns for Lula's safety, Marshalls of the Federal Police Union of Parana requested that the former head of state be "immediately transferred" to a military prison. 

On Tuesday, nine governors and political representatives were denied entry to the complex where Lula is being detained. A judge ruled that he should not have any special concessions in prison.

Lula was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison on corruption charges by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court. The Supreme Court of Justice rejected two habeas corpus appeals submitted by his defense team.

Legal experts and observers attribute his case to a salacious media campaign coupled with 'lawfare,' where political foes use loopholes in the judicial system to their advantage, neutralizing their opponents.

After delivering a rousing speech on the grounds of the ABC Steelworkers Union headquarters in Sao Bernardo do CampoSao Paulo on Saturday, Lula was hoisted in the air by hordes of supporters.

He then complied with the arrest warrant issued by Judge Sergio Moro and was transported by federal authorities to Curitiba.

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