Brazilian authorities, after pressure from social movements, have granted former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva permission to leave prison in Curitiba in the state of Paraná, for his grandson’s wake and funeral in Sao Paulo.
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The 7-year-old grandson of Lula, Artur Araujo da Silva, died Friday morning in the Barthia Hospital, in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo state, due to complications related to meningococcal meningitis.
This is the second time in which former President Lula tried to leave temporarily to attend a family situation of this kind. On Jan. 29 his brother Genival "Vava" Inácio da Silva died of cancer. The leader of the Workers Party (PT), was not allowed to leave prison on that occasion, even though constitutionally he has the right under these circumstances.
Lula's lawyers fought to have his right ensured, but Lula was not able to attend his brother's funeral. The former president's lawyers appealed at higher levels, and soon after, the Federal Supreme Court authorized Lula's timely departure from jail, but the decision was made when the brother of the former president had already been buried.
On Friday, the Curitiba Public Minister agreed to Lula’s release so that he could attend his grandson's funeral that will take place on Saturday in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where Lula used to live before he was wrongfully imprisoned for controversial corruption charges that legal experts say lack concrete evidence.
Lula received through social media thousands of messages of solidarity from supporters, political leaders, representatives of social movements and public figures. Lula will travel from Curitiba to São Paulo in a plane provided by the local government of Parana.
Artur had visited Lula twice in the prison in the southern state of Parana, where the former President has been held since April 7th, 2018, serving a 12-year and one month sentence.