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Progressive Alliance: Democracy and the rule of law at risk in Brazil

© Progressive Alliance

The situation in Brazil is very alarming. Democracy and the rule of law are under mounting pressure and increasingly at risk. The political space for dialogue and understanding is being restricted by an atmosphere of intolerance, hatred and threatening gestures. The public call of not only a few citizens for military intervention is an alarming sign of the extend of the threat to the democratic order in Brazil.

We strongly condemn the assassination of the local politician Marielle Franco, the shooting at the caravan of the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the either veiled or explicit threats from military circles against independent democratic institutions as attempts to undermine the democratic community.

In this climate of intolerance and threats, the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil has rejected an appeal by Lula da Silva, denying him the opportunity to defend himself in freedom until all legal remedies against his controversial condemnation are exhausted. This amounts to a premature condemnation that lacks evidence and puts into question the rule of law in Brazil. These actions are in continuity with the process carried out against President Dilma Rousseff to oust the Workers Party from the Government of Brazil and to prevent Lula da Silva’s presidential candidacy for the elections in October this year.

As President, Lula da Silva has made a major contribution to democracy and the rule of law in Brazil. The social programs implemented during his time in office have lifted millions of Brazilians out of hunger, poverty and precarious living conditions. He has provided an international reference for social and democratic progress. If these merits do not put him above the law, his popularity do not either put him below it. Lula is innocent until proven otherwise as provided by the Brazilian Constitution and has the right to a fair trial.

We are determined in our call for an end to the undue influence on the legal procedure and we demand to grant the former President Lula da Silva his fundamental civil rights. Everyone is equal before the law.