Jailed Lula is refused visitors – breaking Mandela Rules

By Cynara Menezes.

The media repeat that Lula is not a political prisoner. Nevertheless, like all political prisoners, he is being barred from receiving visitors in jail. A judge from Curitiba is behaving as if she has superpowers and controlling who can and can not visit the ex-President of Brazil, an international personality with friends and admirers from around the World.

Judge Carolina Lebbos, from the 12th District Court, has already barred visits by 9 governors who traveled to Curitiba to visit Lula, along with 1980 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and renowned theologian Leonardo Boff. The motion to bar Esquivel’s visit was ratified on Monday, April 23, and the Judge announced that presidential candidate Ciro Gomes (PDT), PT National President Gleisi Hoffmann, ex-President Dilma Rousseff and a commission of Congressmen are also prohibited from visiting the ex-President in his cell in the Federal Police headquarters.

According to the Judge, only family members and lawyers can see Lula, despite the fact that the Law of Penal Execution also guarantees all Brazilian prisoners the right to receive visits from friends on determined days.

“The Judge is disobeying the Law of Penal Execution and international laws, defined in the Mandela Rules, edited and published in 2016 by the National Justice Council, whose president at the time, Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, stipulated the guidelines for its application,” said Tânia Mandarino, the lawyer who filed the visitation request for Esquivel. “These rejections are probably going to be used to justify an eventual deferment of  Lula’s transfer  out of the Federal Police headquarters. There have already been three requests made for this, from the Federal Police Delegate’s Union, the Mayor of Curitiba and State Congressman Felipe Francischini,” said Tânia.

It is unfortunate that Operation Car Wash continues its hateful persecution against the ex-President even after he is imprisoned. So much “rigor”, however, has its uses: with the commotion that the Curitiba group is raising, the World will soon be as sure as we are that Lula’s arrest really is political and was done to  block him from running for President in 2018. If it isn’t that, what is Dr. Carolina’s motive? What is she afraid of?

This article was translated from Portuguese by Brasil Wire and can be seen in it’s original form here

Photo: Leonardo Boff waits outside the Federal Police building in Curitiba, he was eventually denied the right to visit Lula.


By Cynara Menezes

Cynara Menezes is an award winning journalist whose blog 'Socialista Morena' has half a million facebook followers.