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News > Latin America

Legal Process Against Lula Da Silva Was Not Impartial: OHCHR

  • Brazil's ex-President Lula da Silva.

    Brazil's ex-President Lula da Silva. | Photo: Twitter/ @AttuchLeonardo

Published 28 April 2022

By deploying a lawfare, Brazilian elites managed to prevent Lula from running in the 2018 elections, which allowed Jair Bolsonaro to become President.

On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (OHCHR) found that Brazilian courts violated fundamental rights of Lula da Silva, who remained imprisoned for 580 days.


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"The investigation and prosecution of ex President Lula da Silva violated his right to be tried by an impartial tribunal, his right to privacy, and his political rights," the Committee stated.

In 2016, the then Criminal Judge Sergio Moro included Lula in the “Car Wash Operation”, a corruption case in which authorities investigated the use of funds from the public oil company Petrobras to finance political campaigns.

“While States have a duty to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption and to keep the population informed, especially when a former head of State is concerned, such actions must be conducted fairly and respect due process guarantees,” OHCHR member Arif Bulkan said.

"Moro sentenced Lula to 9-year imprisonment in July 2017. In January of the next year, Lula's sentence was increased to 12 years by the Federal Regional Court. In April 2018, he began serving his sentence while his appeals were pending," the OHCHR recalled.

Thanks to these legal actions, however, Brazilian elites managed to prevent Lula da Silva from running in the 2018 elections, which allowed the far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro to become president of this South American country.

"The Superior Electoral Court rejected Lula's candidacy for the October presidential elections on the ground that the country's legislation prevents anyone convicted of certain crimes and under certain conditions from running for public office, even if there are appeals pending," the Committee pointed out.

The OHCHR resolution "must be translated and widely disseminated by the Bolsonaro administration," outlet Brasil 247 noted, adding that it is not yet known whether the Brazilian government will comply with that mandate.

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