Esquerra Republicana applauds the release of Lula da Silva after having been imprisoned for over 18 months

Esquerra Republicana welcomes the release of Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil jailed in 2018 in questionable legal circumstances, and urges the Brazilian authorities to guarantee the procedural rights of the former president as well as his right to stand for election.

Soon after he was detained, the United Nations Human Rights Committee declared that imprisonment went directly against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and asked the Government of Brazil "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." This communication referred to article 283 of the Criminal Code and article 5 of the Brazilian Constitution, which stipulate that imprisonment may only be made after a final ruling, which did not occur.

We deplore the fact that detention came about during the election campaign for the presidency of the country, in which Lula da Silva was the candidate for the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party) and was the favourite in the polls, being the only alternative to defeat Jair Bolsonaro, the leader of the far-right who finally ended up winning the elections. We condemn the fact that Sergio Moro, the federal judge who sentenced Lula to nine and a half years in prison for corruption, was later appointed the Minister of Justice and Public Security by the Bolsonaro government, which would evince a personal interest in the detention of the left-wing leader.

Lastly, we request the relevant authorities initiate an investigation into information made public by The Intercept Brazil, revealing a clear coordination woven between judicial officials of the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This web between judges, prosecutors and other officials, would have worked to incriminate Lula in a judicial process full of irregularities and with the purpose of influencing in the country's political activity.