Thousands of Brazilians mobilized on Friday to demand the release of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as the embattled Workers' Party leader declared he will never sacrifice his dignity for his freedom.
Brazil: Lula Absolved of Obstruction of Justice Charges, but Kept in Prison
"I'm not going to exchange my dignity for my freedom," Lula told his former minister Celso Amorim. The imprisoned leader said his opponents wish to "prevent the people from hearing" what he has to say.
#LulaLivreJá | La Plaza Cinelândia, en el centro de Rio de Janeiro, ya reúne a centenas de apoyadores del expresidente Lula. #LulaLivre pic.twitter.com/0wAzUFP7eT— André Vieira (@AndreteleSUR) July 13, 2018
Meanwhile, thousands gathered in various cities across Brazil to demand Lula be released from prison in Curitiba, where he is being held. The protests were being held to mark the 'National Day of Struggle to Free Lula.'
Lula began his 12-year prison sentence for alleged corruption – charges he vehemently denies and says are politically motivated to keep him out of the looming presidential elections – in April.
In early July, a regional court judge ruled that Lula should be released until his appeals run out, but the decision was shot down less than a day later by a federal court, shattering the raised hopes of millions.