Today (05/22) we gladly received from the United Nations Human Rights Committee a decision confirming that said international body is officially investigating the violations against former President Lula’s fundamental guarantees we presented in an individual communication filed in July 2016. The admissibility of the communication will be decided on alongside its merits. This is the first individual communication filed by a Brazilian person with said international body.

The Committee also accepted to decide on the case in light of Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which ensure all citizens the possibility of taking part “without groundless restrictions” of the right to “vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors,” due to an amendment we presented on 04/06/2018.

Brazil has to present its defense about the merits of the communication in six months.

In the petition filed in July 2016 we pointed out several violations of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN, committed against Lula, his family and lawyers by the judge and prosecutors of Operation Car Wash in Curitiba. The said Covenant provides, among other things, for: (a) protection against arbitrary arrest or detention (Article 9); (b) the right to be presumed innocent until proved otherwise according to the law (Article 14); (c) protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation (Article 17); and, also, (d) the right to an independent and impartial trial (Article 14).

Evidence presented in the communication refer to, among other things: (i) Lula being held under custody for over 6 hours on March 4th, 2016, through a bench warrant issued without legal provision; (ii) the leaking of confidential material to the press and the release of intercepted telephone conversations, including those between Lula and his attorneys; (iii) the various provisional remedies authorized with no justification; and, also, (iv) the fact that judge Sergio Moro played the role of accuser in a document sent to the Federal Supreme Court on 29/03/2016, in which he accused Lula of practicing a crime twelve times, in addition to making judgement value on issues pending before the 13th  Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba.

The UN Human Rights Committee has also decided that, for the time being, it will not grant provisional remedies in favor of Lula as requested on 06/04, but warned Brazilian authorities that it is incompatible with the obligations Brazil assumed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights any act “that would prevent or frustrate consideration by the [UN] Committee of a communication alleging violation of the Covenant, or to render the expression of its Views nugatory and futile.”

CRISTIANO ZANIN MARTINS and VALESKA TEIXEIRA ZANIN MARTINS