'Lula is Political Prisoner': American Association of Jurists

A specialized NGO having UN consultative status affirms that imprisonment of Lula Da Silva seeks to remove him from the Brazilian political process.

The American Association of Jurists (AAJ), an NGO with consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), has published a statement recognizing former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a political prisoner.

RELATED: 'Lula will have no Chance of Freedom,' Threatens Bolsonaro

Lula's sentence "was issued as a consequence of an accusation produced by violating the due process of law, that prejudiced (his) right to a defense, and without evidence," the AJJ said Thursday and pointed out that Brazilian far-right politicians, "benefited in the elections while Lula da Silva was isolated (in prison) as a presidential candidate and had the broadest popularity in the electoral polls."

The AAJ, which already denounced Lula's 12 year sentence at the 2018 UN Human Rights Council general session, saying that Brazil's Superior Electoral Tribunal invalidated his candidacy for the presidency, forbade him to speak from prison and prevented the Workers' Party (PT) from using his image in the electoral campaign. These measures were taken despite the fact that the country's constitution guaranteed Lula the presumption of innocence.

"Such conditions demonstrate a detention that was made by violating fundamental guarantees, endorsing clearly political motivations, lacking connection with a properly and well defined offense, and having a duration and accessory penalties which are aimed at both moving Lula da Silva away from the national political process and laying foundations to discriminate against people endorsing different ideological tendencies through irregular procedures," the AAJ explained.

According to the Council of Europe's jurisprudence, this makes Lula a political prison.

His current situation could also be described as a case of "prison of conscience," affirms the AAJ.

Evidence of the mishandling of Lula's case became evident March 4, 2016 when Curitiba's Judge Sergio Moro authorized searching the former president's apartment because he was considered "a likely ​​​​​​​suspect" of money landry and corruption.

This raid began a "lawfare on Lula", using the judicial system, supported by Brazil's mainstream media, to eventually indict him S​​​​​​​ept. 20 for allegedly receiving bribes from Odebrecht construction company in the form of remodeling of a three-floor beach apartment. 

In May 2017, Lula was allowed to provide his first testimony in the so-called 'Triplex Case', which showed he did not own any such apartment. Nevertheless, in July 12, Moro condemned Lula to nine years and six months in prison.

Six months later, Jan. 24, 2018, Curitiba's Federal Court sentenced Lula to 12 years in prison with no time to appeal just when all the polls indicated that he was the favorite to win the ​​presidential elections.

In January 2019 after far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidency, he appointed Sergio Moro as his Minister of Justice.​​​​​​​

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Lula's Sentence Reduced to 8 Years by Top Judges Panel

The ruling by the special court could mean that Lula's defense could request house arrest for the former president. 

A Brazil special court of supreme judges ruled Tuesday to reduce the sentence of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,  from 12 years and 10 months to eight years and 10 months, which would potentially allowed his defense to file for moving him to house arrest. 

The investigating judge of the appeal of the sentence against former Brazilian president Felix Fischer, of the Superior Court of Justice, today rejected all the appeals for the release and annulment of the sentence but agreed to reduce it to 8 years and 10 months in prison.

With this penalty, which will still be evaluated by the other judges on the top court, Lula could be moved from a state prison to a "semi-open prison" like house arrest within three months.

In his vote, Fischer denied the preliminary requests made by the defense, such as the request for the case to be forwarded to electoral justice.

Last year Lula was sentenced by a Porto Alegre’s Federal Court to 12 years in prison for alleged corruption and money laundering by Judge Sergio Moro, who was the a Federal judge and is now President Jair Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister.

Prosecutors alledged that Lula owns a three-floor luxury apartment at the Guaruja beach that was renovated at a cost of US$ 1.1 million, a money which allegedly the leftist former president received in return for help securing contracts with petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil company.

BREAKING | Brazil's Supreme Justice Court has reduced former President Lula da Silva's sentence from 12 years and one month; to 8 years, 10 months and 20 days.

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Chomsky: Assange and Lula the Same Case to Silence Their Voices

The world-renowned linguist and academic said that Assange's arrest is just a new case of “efforts to silence” dissident voices.

U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky voiced his concerns Friday over the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during an interview with Democracy Now, calling the situation a “scandalous in several respects.”

RELATED: The Assange Arrest is a Warning From History

The world-renowned linguist and academic said that this is just a new case of “efforts to silence” dissident voices. Chomsky compared Assange’s arrest to Lula’s political imprisonment, focusing on the fact that both said and did things that “people in power don’t like”, so therefore they “have to silence it.”

“Last September, Lula da Silva was the leading, the most popular figure in Brazil, who was almost certain to win the forthcoming election, put him in jail, solitary confinement, essentially a death sentence, 25 years in jail, banned from reading press or books, and, crucially, barred from making a public statement—unlike mass murderers on death row,” adding that “he’s the most important political prisoner in the world. Do you hear anything about it?... Assange is a similar case: We’ve got to silence this voice.”

On April 11, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Ecuador seven-year asylum was abruptly removed and he was arrested by British police. Immeadlty the United States charged him of  "computer hacking conspiracy." Now his defense is fighting an extradition request to face the U.S. justice system, even though Ecuadorean officials have assured this will not happen.

Assange was even called a “miserable hacker” by Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno. But his defense is strongly dismissing it, stating that he is a publisher and journalist, with more than 20 awards in the field. As Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project has explained the “prosecution by the U.S. of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations.”

However, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told CNN that they are “going to extradite him. It will be really good to get him back on United States soil. So now he's our property and we can get the facts and truth from him."

On this regard, Chomsky said the fact the U.S. can manipulate the policies and actions of other nations is a scandal in itself. “The extraterritorial reach of the United States is shocking...why should the United States have the power to control what others are doing elsewhere in the world? I mean, it’s an outlandish situation,” he said.

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Lula Denounces He's Incarcerated for a Crime that Never Was

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva has denounced on Sunday, a year after he was arbitrarily jailed, that he was charged and sentenced for a crime that never was.

'Every day that I spend here (in jail) heightens my outrage, but I have faith on a just trial and that truth prevails', the former president underlines in the article 'Why they fear a free Lula so much?' he wrote for Folha de Sao Paulo daily.

He asserts he can sleep peacefully with his conscience in peace knowing he's innocent, but he doubts those who sentenced him over a judicial farce can sleep as peacefully.

From April 7, 2018, the former union leader has been incarcerated at a federal police jail in Curitiba, capital of the southern state of Parana, after been sentenced to 12 years by a Regional Federal Court over alleged corruption charges.

The former president was sentenced a second time over the same charges last February, this time to serve 12 years and eleven months, by Judge Gabriela Hardt, who replaced former magistrate Moro, who is now serving a Justice and Public Security Minister.

Lula stresses that it is clear his incarceration 'is part of political maneuvering that began with the reelection of President Dilma Rousseff in 2014'.

Defeated in the polls for the fourth consecutive time, the opposition resorted to a coup d'état to return to power, reassuming the 'authoritarian vice of the Brazilian ruling classes', he adds.

Despite his imprisonment, Lula comments that what anguishes most is 'what Brazil is going through and the suffering of the people,' adding by arbitrarily trying him 'they broke limits of the Law and the Constitution, weakening democracy'.

He further writes that the rights of the people have been revoked, while a readjustment of salaries leading to impoverished jobs, heightened cost of living are imposed.

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Lula Immediately Sent Back to Prison After Grandson’s Funeral

Lula da Silva was allowed to meet his family and say goodbye to his grandson only for nine hours before being sent back to prison.

The former Brazilian President and one of the most revered left leaders in Latin America, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was returned to prison nine hours after he was allowed to attend his grandson's funeral

RELATED: UN Human Rights Council To Probe Lula's Case in March

He was at the crematorium for 2 hours before being taken away by the military police for his return back to jail where he arrived within nine hours of leaving the prison.  He could barely meet his followers who gathered in support of the leader. 

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" Inacio 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.

This time, however, he was allowed to leave. On Saturday, a large number of his followers were gathered to greet him. Lula said during the funeral that when he meets Arthur in heaven, he will prove his innocence because the seven-year-old faced bullying in school due to the imprisonment of his grandfather.

Lula will momentarily leave prison today to attend the wake of his grandson Artur, who died from meningitis this morning. He will travel from Curitiba to São Paulo. was recently denied his right to attend his brother's funeral.

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Former President Dilma Rousseff and ex-presidential candidate Fernando Haddad were present during the funeral among other PT members. 

Gleisi Hoffmann, a Brazilian lawmaker and national President of PT, said, "Lula is very sad, he says he never expected news like this. He said that it should be forbidden for a father to bury his son or for a grandfather to bury his grandson."

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.

Lula da Silva, who was arrested after being allegedly convicted in the Lava Jato corruption case by a Federal Regional Court, is internationally recognized as a political prisoner. He has maintained his stance of innocence and determined to prove the same.

After a back-and-forth, Lula has been authorized to leave prison temporarily, in order to attend the funeral of his grandson.

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Protests as Brazilian court doubles ex-president Lula’s jail term (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Brazilian prosecutors have doubled former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s jail sentence following his second corruption and money laundering case. His supporters took to the streets in protest across Brazil Thursday.

Lula, 73, who led Brazil between 2003 and 2010, was convicted on corruption charges in 2017 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He later had the conviction upheld in January 2018 for which he is currently serving a punitively extended 12-year sentence. Now, an additional 12 years and 11 months have been added to his sentence following this latest conviction.

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Lula’s Followers Hold Christmas Vigil In Front of His Prison

'Lula Livre' organized a Christmas vigil at Lula's prison in solidarity with the former president and political prisoner — he is not allowed any visitors on Christmas. 

Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva’s supporters will gather in front of the jail where he is imprisoned to celebrate Christmas in solidarity with him on Dec. 24 and 25.

RELATED: Lula: I Do Not Want Favors, I Just Want Justice

Members of Lula Livre (Free Lula) movement called on Lula’s followers to attend a vigil outside the Curitiba Federal Police station in the state of Parana where he has been held as a political prisoner since April.

One of the coordinators of the vigil, Roberto Baggio, said that "a great deal is being done to organize the preparations for Christmas. It will be a Christmas and a festive year shared with Lula and the Brazilian people."

"We call all the activists of the country and the world who want to go with us, bring their families and friends (...) to face the next period and the next days of struggle ... for the freedom of  Lula," said Baggio.

Lula is restricted from receiving visitors on Christmas but his supporters will be there with him during the day. According to the organizers, between the two days of Christmas celebrations, almost 500 people will arrive from different states of Brazil to show their solidarity with the political prisoner.

Ana Fuzinatto, a member of the Congregation of the Franciscan Catechetical Sisters of Curitiba said, "For us, Lula has always been a model that drives us to walk together with the people, for the poor, for the care of life, for people who are on the margins of society."

Lula da Silva, who was arrested after being convicted in the Lava Jato corruption case by a Federal Regional Court, is internationally recognized as a political prisoner. His imprisonment led to his inability to run for president in the October 2018 general elections and paved the way for the victory of far-right Jair Bolsonaro who has announced an aggressive neoliberal economic program and the use of agressive force against social movements.

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Another World Is Possible, Necessary, Says Lula

Brasilia, Nov 22 (Prensa Latina) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva affirmed that another world is possible and necessary in a letter sent to the eighth conference of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), which is taking place in Argentina on Thursday.

Cited by the digital portal Brasil 247, in the letter Lula acknowledges that he feels happy because 'at a time when part of Latin America and the world is experiencing the rise of backwardness - of lies, now called Fake News, of political violence, of judicial persecution-, a great event like that one arises to remember again that another world is possible and necessary.'

Finally, the former president, who remains imprisoned for seven months for alleged acts of corruption, thanks the solidarity and regrets 'not being able to be with you physically. But we are today and always together.'

News media claim that some 50,000 delegates from 50 countries will debate at the CLACSO meeting in Buenos Aires, which is holding its penultimate day on Thursday with several topics on the agenda, including the new global geopolitics, peace and the main challenges for the popular movements.

The meeting, with its main axis in the World Forum of Critical Thinking, has become a valuable moment for those who fight for a better world and seek alternatives to neoliberalism and capital.

According to this day's agenda, one of the issues to be addressed will be the so-called legal wars and state of exception in Latin America or the New global geopolitics and its impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the participation of experts from the United States, Argentina or Colombia.

Another of the more than 7,000 panels scheduled for these days will be Climate Change, Environment and Society.

CLACSO, created in 1967, is an international non-governmental institution that brings together 624 research and postgraduate centers in the field of social sciences and humanities in 47 countries.

Political figures of the continent as the former Presidents Cristina Fernandez (Argentina); Dilma Rousseff (Brazil); the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera; Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel and former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, among others, attended this eighth conference.

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