Bernie Sanders, 28 Other US Lawmakers Want Lula Free

26 July 2018

The letter read that the “fight against corruption should not be used to justify the persecution of political opponents.”

A group of 29 U.S. congressmen, including senator and former 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are sending a letter on Thursday to the Brazilian ambassador in Washington Sergio Amaral, which denounces the “highly questionable and politicized” imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

It went on to state that the “fight against corruption should not be used to justify the persecution of political opponents or deny them the right to participate in free elections.”

They went on to describe the ruling against Lula on charges of corruption and money laundering as being based on “unproven accusations.” It also pointed out that members of the state security forces may be implicated in the assassination of Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwomen Marielle Franco.

Sanders and the other U.S. lawmakers characterized the senate-imposed Brazilian presidency of Michel Temer as being of the “extreme right-wing” and was installed amid “intensifying attacks against democracy and human rights in Brazil.” The letter went on to criticize cuts in social programs and the liquidation of labor laws under Temer’s watch.

Meanwhile, at least 15,000 members of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) marched through the capital of Aracaju, Sergipe in a show of support for Lula on the National Rural Worker Day on Wednesday. They demanded that the former president be released from prison and be allowed to run as a presidential candidate in the Oct. general elections.

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The news come few weeks after fter two judges ordered the suspension of the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after an appeal judge ordered it.

Despite his conviction and imprisonment for corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.

His two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

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