Democracy is under attack in Brazil. After deposing the democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff, a group of corrupt politicians took power to implement anti-union measures - including dismantling of workers’ rights, threats to public pensions, attacks on social protection and the cash transfer programmes; it has attempted to legalise forced labour by changing the definition of slavery and now it is trying to prevent former president Lula from running for office in the coming elections.
On 24 January, a regional appeals court will decide on politically motivated and false charges against Lula. They want a guilty verdict to stop him standing for election again, destroy his reputation and remove his influence.
While trying to find a crime - any crime - to convict Lula in the courts, opponents of Brazil’s most important political leader engaged in a trial by media, in the most extraordinary defamation campaign against a public figure in the history of the country.
Lula’s lawyers have listed a number of violations of fundamental rights in the campaign against him, including deprivation of liberty, illegal phone tapping and leaking of correspondence, interception of his communications with his lawyers, the presumption of guilt without any evidence or trial, and the absence of an unbiased judge and of fair legal proceedings.
Powerful forces in Brazil are seeking to turn the clock back, undoing the progress his government made and returning the country into the hands of a small but all-powerful elite.
The prospect of Brazil returning to its infamous past is a threat to the people of Brazil and the rest of the world.
Online camapign attributed to: ITUC