Personalities from all the world call for the end of political trials

Mélenchon, Lula, Iglesias call for “the end of political trials”

7 septembre 2019

OP-ED. In a joint “declaration”, more than 200 personalities call for “vigilance in defending the victims” of “lawfare”, a term used to describe a political use of justice.

“No, justice should not be used as a weapon of political persecution. Yet it has now become the case across the world. With the criminalization of whistleblowers, trade unionists, environmental activists and protesters being arbitrarily arrested, the rights of citizens have already significantly declined. Liberal policing is expensive for democracy. Now a new threshold is being crossed. with the tactics of “Lawfare” : the instrumentalization of justice to eliminate political competitors.

Lawfare confines political debates to the courts of law […] it distorts the electoral process

“Lawfare” begins with unproven denunciations and is fuelled through the media by obsessive denigration campaigns forcing their targets to justify themselves over and over without cause. Then come the prison sentences and the fines. Lawfare confines political debates to the courts of law. Finally, it distorts the electoral process, preventing it from being genuinely free and independent.

Examples are numerous. In South America, the Brazilian Lula was sentenced without evidence and prevented from standing in the presidential election. The acting judge, Sergio Moro, has since become Minister of Justice for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Then there is Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, both constantly persecuted. In Africa, the Mauritanian Biram Dah Abeid was imprisoned on the strength of a denunciation without proof which was later withdrawn after several months of detention. Lawyer Massoum Marzouk, opponent of the Sissi regime, was imprisoned on the false pretext of anti-terrorist charges.

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We call for a global cooperation of legal resistance

In Europe, the French politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon was prosecuted without proof and tried for rebellion, and the Russian Sergei Oudaltsov, leader of the Left Front, was sentenced to 4 years in prison for organizing protests against the government. In Asia, Cambodia’s opposition leader Kem Sokha was imprisoned for a year, preventing him from participation in the 2018 parliamentary elections. And there was a judicial crackdown in the Philippines against Senator Leila de Lima, a prominent figure in the opposition to President Duterte.

Many people are speaking out across the world to condemn this situation: groups of jurists, religious authorities such as Pope Francis, human rights figures, trade union or political leaders. Our joint statement welcomes these protestations. We urge everyone to be on full alert to defend all those who fall victim to such acts, regardless of their political affiliation. We call for a global cooperation of legal resistance. We demand that governments and magistrates such as Judge Sergio Moro in Brazil, who agree to play such a harmful role threatening individual and political liberties, be denounced to public opinion.”

The signatories :

  1. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
  2. Hebe de Bonafini
  3. Ignacio Ramonet
  4. Aminata Traoré
  5. Manon Aubry et Martin Schirdewan
  6. Shumona Sinha
  7. Eugenio Raul Zaffaroni
  8. Rashida shams al Din
  9. Janak Chaudhari
  10. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
  11. Rafael Correa
  12. Pepe Mujica
  13. Pablo Iglesias
  14. Lucia Topolanski
  15. Jane Vargas
  16. Almir Narayamoga Surui
  17. Marisa Matias
  18. The group of MPs France insoumise
  19. Esther Benbassa
  20. André Chassaigne
  21. Noël Mamère
  22. Marion Esnault
  23. Vikash Dhorasoo
  24. Jean Ziegler
  25. Edward Bond
  26. Pipo Delbono
  27. Biram Dah Abeid
  28. Thomas Porcher
  29. Arié Alimi
  30. Hamma Hammami
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And also :

Gilbert Abergel, John M. Ackerman, Celso Amorim, Paul Ardenne, Rafael Archondo, Gabriela Arce, Donají Alba Arroyo, Victor Audubert, Rafael Barajas, Roberto Baradel, Pierre Bayenet, Oye Beavogui, Ermira Behri, Marco Benati, Judith Benda, Christian Benedetti, Philippe Besson, Dominique Bourg, Marcelo Brignoni, Monica Bruckman, William Bukhardt, Marie-George Buffet, Luc Carvounas, Richard Burgon, Ronan Burtenshaw, Alejandro Caballero, Gerardo Benavides Caldas, Sophie Camard, Estella de Carlotto, Guillermo Carmona, Viola Carofalo, Bernard Cassen, Alicia Castro, Daniel Catalano, Magyd Cherfi, Virginia Cisneros Condezo, Sergio Coronado, Manuel Fernandez Corrales, Giorgio Cremaschi, Juan Cristobal, Carlos De Feo, Claire De Pryck, José Carlos Ballon Decano, Özlem Demirel, José Luis Rodriguez Diaz de Leon, Thomas Dietrich, Jorge Drkos, Michel Duby, Guy Sioui Durand, Adrien Duval, Sophie Ernst, Kiri Escobar, Pilar Roca Escritora, Elsa Faucillon, Jesus Fernandez, Jérôme Flament, Philippe Foulquié, Ricardo Gadea Acosta, Lilan Galan, Ricardo Montserrat Galindo, Federico Garcia, Nilda Garré, Florence Gauthier, Eraston Mc Ewing Gereda, Liliane Giraudon, Michel Godicheau, Daniel Gonçalves, David Gozlan, Martín Granovsky, Leonel Falcon Guerrera, Hugo Gutierrez, Gregor Gysi, Jorge Brito Hasbun, Patrick Hebert, Maria Higonet, Gleisi Helena Hoffman, Andrej Hunko, Joel Hubaut, Paul Jablonski, Ana Jaramillo, Aurore Joly, Stéphane Jouteux, Oskaras Korsunovas, Alexandra Kremer, Victor Hugo de La Fuente, Oscar Laborde, Mercedes Landolfi, Isabelle Laloy, Thomas Laslandes, Christiane Laubary-Besson, Léa Le Bricomte, Jérôme Legarve, Oscar Armando Rodríguez Lemus, Claude Lévêque,Thibault Lhonneur, Marie-Noëlle Lienemann, Nicole Lorant, Fernanda Gil Lozano, Jeanne Maillart, Diego Mancilla, Oumar Mariko, Gustavo Marini, Malte Martin, Gus Massiah, Bienvenu Matumo, Edwin Matutano, Caroline Mecary, Alberto Mendes, Carolina Mera, Marina Mesure, Javier Miranda, Achemt Saïd Mohamed, Pedro Miguel Arce Montoya, Jose Manuel Morente, Sébastien Nadot, Radia Nasraoui, Issa Ndiaye, Laurence Ndong, Makalia Nguebla, Stanislas Nordey, Ange Kevin Nzigou, Sergueï Oudaltsov, Oliverio Llanos Pajares, Aurora Past, Gilles Perret, Gilles Perez, Julia Perie, Roberto Pianelli, Sandrine Pierlot,Jean-Sébastien Pierre, Bernard Pignerol, Nadia Podelski, Serge Pey, Carole Proner, Manuel Valladares Quijano, Temistocles Villanueva Ramos, Bernardino Ramirez, Alban Ravassard, Héctor Béjar Rivera, Saul Mendez Rodriguez, Idola Villenueva Ruiz, Alexey Sakhine, Miguel Salgado, Raquel Salgado, Jean-Marc Salmon, Ingrid Sarti, Jean-Marc Schiappa, Carlos Schmerkin, Daniel Shapira, Maxim Shevchenko, Stéphane Schoukroun, Pino Solanas, Jorge Taiana, Paco Ignacio Taibo, Paloma Sáiz Tejero, Daniel Tognetti, Dominique Tricaud, François Tronche, Miguel Urban, Hugo Urrestarazu, Eduardo Valdes, Omar Angeles Valera, Martine Vaudeville, Graciela Villar, Maxime Vivas, Michael Woegerer, Ibrahim Yacouba, Jean Rémy Yama, Evelyne Zabus, Daniel Zaidani, Kouceila Zerguine, Erica Deuber Ziegler.

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