Brazil Elections

Brazilian Senate recognizes UN panel’s competence on Lula’s right to campaign

President of Brazil’s upper chamber, Eunício Oliveira, stated that international covenants are in full force and effect

Leia em português | São Paulo

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Held as a political prisoner since Apr. 7, Lula is unable to conduct his election campaign / Júlia Dolce

Brazil’s Senate confirmed on Thursday that the country is a signatory to the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” and its Optional Protocols. That means the country is required to comply with the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s request to ensure ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s political rights as a presidential candidate.

The president of the Senate, Eunício Oliveira, released a statement responding to the Workers’ Party chair and Lula’s fellow party member Gleisi Hoffmann, who asked the Congress on Wednesday to take a stand regarding the UN Human Rights panel’s statement.

On Aug. 17, the Committee requested that the Brazilian State should take measures to ensure Lula could “enjoy and exercise his political rights while in prison, as a candidate to the 2018 presidential elections, including appropriate access to the media and members of his political party.” The former president is being held as a political prisoner since Apr. 7 in Curitiba, southern Brazil, and unable to conduct his election campaign.

The UN request is an interim measure in response to an appeal filed by Lula’s Brazilian lawyers Valeska Teixeira Zanin Martins and Cristiano Zanin Martins, and British lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. International Law and International Relations experts have stated that Brazil is required to comply with the United Nations panel’s decision.

In April, in a communication to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN Office renewed its commitment to the UN system, therefore attesting the Human Rights Committee’s competence to address the issue.

Edition: Juca Guimarães