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Montevideo, November 18th 2018 - 00:18 UTC

UN Human Rights Committee asks Lula be allowed to exercise political rights

Saturday, August 18th 2018 - 07:38 UTC
Full article 54 comments
Lula is the candidate for his Workers Party (PT) and leads presidential polls ahead of the October ballot Lula is the candidate for his Workers Party (PT) and leads presidential polls ahead of the October ballot
The ex president is widely expected to be banned from running by an electoral court under a “Clean Slate” law. He was jailed in April on a corruption conviction. The ex president is widely expected to be banned from running by an electoral court under a “Clean Slate” law. He was jailed in April on a corruption conviction.
The UN Committee stated Brazil should ensure “that Lula can enjoy and exercise his political rights while in prison, as candidate in the 2018 presidential elections” The UN Committee stated Brazil should ensure “that Lula can enjoy and exercise his political rights while in prison, as candidate in the 2018 presidential elections”

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, a panel of independent experts, on Friday said it had requested that the Brazilian government allow imprisoned former president Lula da Silva to exercise his political rights as a presidential candidate.

 Lula is the candidate for his Workers Party (PT) and leads presidential polls ahead of the October ballot, but is widely expected to be banned from running by an electoral court. He was jailed in April on a corruption conviction.

The U.N. Committee, which oversees countries’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said in an emailed statement that it asked Brazil’s government “not to prevent him from standing for election in the 2018 presidential elections, until his appeals before the courts have been completed in fair judicial proceedings.”

The statement added the Brazilian government should ensure “that Lula can enjoy and exercise his political rights while in prison, as candidate in the 2018 presidential elections”. This includes having appropriate access to the media and members of his political party”.

Brazil’s U.N. delegation in Geneva said in a written statement that the committee’s conclusions were not legally binding, but that the recommendations on Lula would be passed on to the country’s judiciary.

Under Brazilian law, Lula is allowed free access to his lawyers, which include some top PT figures, as well as weekly family visits. He is allowed to communicate in writing, but federal prosecutors say he is barred from making video or audio recordings.

Lula’s legal team said in a written statement that they interpret the committee’s decision as meaning that “no Brazilian government entity can present any obstacles to former president Lula’s ability to run in the 2018 presidential elections, until his appeals are exhausted in a fair trial.”

Ahead of the Oct. 7 vote, Brazil’s top electoral court is expected to declare Lula ineligible in the coming weeks under a “Clean Slate” law that bans politicians from seeking public office if they have been convicted of a crime and it has been upheld on appeal, as is the case with Lula.

Lula has said his conviction was the result of political persecution and that it is part of a right-wing conspiracy to keep him from regaining the presidency.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, International.

Top Comments

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  • Cheshire_Cat

    I feel like people abuse the term “human rights” these days. It's a shame because human rights are a very important cause. But being imprisoned for proven acts of corruption is NOT a “human rights” issue.

    Aug 19th, 2018 - 02:48 am +1
  • LEPRecon

    Does this mean that anyone in Brazil who is in prison for crimes can run for President as a means of circumnavigating justice?

    Lula had his day in court. He was found guilty. He is now repaying his debt to society. When you are imprisoned for committing crimes you lose certain freedoms, such as the ability to hold public office.

    Perhaps if the UN Human Rights commission actually bothered itself and did the job its supposed to do it wouldn't have time for nonsense like this. You have people who are literally being tortured, starved and murdered...but hey lets ignore all that to mumble some nonsense about a man who was convicted of a crime being able to run for President...which is not in any sense of the description of Human Rights a violation of them.

    These so-called independent 'experts' need to go back to school to learn what Human Rights actually are:

    1. Right to equality: which Lula received. He was treated just like any other person convicted of a crime.
    2. Right to Life, Liberty and Personal Security: Being a criminal he loses the right to liberty (just like EVERYONE who is convicted of a crime - but he is being treated equally in the eyes of the law and the Human Rights Act), but his right to life and personal security is being upheld.
    3. Freedom from slavery: goes without saying, he isn't a slave.
    4. Freedom from torture and degrading treatment: this he has. He is not being tortured or degraded.
    5. Right to recognition as a person before the law: which happened. He was recognised as a person, a person who had been accused of committing a crime. He went to trial where they proved he was a criminal, and to protect the Human Rights of the rest of the population of Brazil, he was locked up like most criminals are.

    So there are actually NO Human Rights violations going on in Lula's case.

    However, considering the make up of the UN Human Rights Committee, whose members have the worst Human Rights records, I'm not surprised by this.

    Aug 19th, 2018 - 07:46 am +1
  • Chicureo

    As the Romans would best describe Terry: “Hic puer est stultissimus omnium!”

    Aug 21st, 2018 - 04:25 pm +1
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