“The images of children locked in cages remind us of Nazi concentration camps.”
In April, 2018, The Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party/PT) became the largest Bloc in Brazilian Congress, with 60 representatives. Led by former student union leader and Rio Grande do Sul Congressman Paulo Pimenta, on the night of June 20, 2018, they issued a public note repudiating the Donald Trump administration’s immigration policies, which to date have resulted in at least 8 Brazilian children being taken away from their mothers and locked in cages. In the note, the PT recommends that Donald Trump be tried for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The following is the note in its entirety:
Official Note from PT in Congress: Trump should be tried in the International Criminal Court
The Workers Party Congressional Bloc denounces the xenophobic and racist actions, that violate all of the human rights treaties, conducted by Donald Trump’s government against the citizens of various nations.
In reality, declarations of repudiation, although necessary and fundamental at the current moment, are gestures that are not a very effective response to the atrocities committed by someone who should be sitting in the defense dock at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
The Government of the United States – notoriously, but not exclusively during the Donald Trump presidency – commits crimes against humanity in a recurrent and systematic fashion. The Guantanamo torture center is undeniable proof of this and the voluntary exit from the UN Human Rights Committee confirms the contempt that this country has for human rights.
The persecution against migrants, which includes large scale deportation and detention, has reached an absolutely unacceptable level, with the imprisonment of children who are separated from their parents and submitted to degrading and revolting conditions. These scenes were already experimented with and rejected by humanity during other moments in history, but the United States Government does not seem to understand this.
The images of children locked in cages, widely disseminated by the means of communications throughout the entire world, remind us of Nazi concentration camps and give the sensation that we are retreating as a civilization.
This type of measure shows the tragic moment in which our civilization is living. We have presided over a series of setbacks recently in the fields of democracy and human rights on all of the continents, along with a growing wave of fascism that is especially spreading across Europe and the United States, but that is also reverberating in Brazil.
Against this regrettably grotesque scenario, with extremely serious violations against the principles of human dignity on the part of the Trump Administration, above all in reference to the rights of migrants and of children and adolescents, we reaffirm with all of our energy, the fundamental importance of the defense of human rights as a universal and indispensable rallying cry that goes far beyond any ideological or partisan dispute.
We demand that the Brazilian government, taking into consideration the long tradition and historic commitment of Brazil with the construction of a world of peace and equality among all peoples, takes action on the scale of these horrendous acts by the United States government, including in international Forums like the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
Brasília, June 20, 2018
Congressman Paulo Pimenta (PT-Rio Grande do Sul)
Leader of the PT Congress