(Opinion) The imprisonment of more than 900 citizens in a penitentiary in Brasília, under the accusation of having participated in the invasion and depredation of the buildings of the three branches of government, is a national shame.
Never in the history of the Republic have there been mass political imprisonments like the ones on Jan. 8, nor the massacre of legality committed against the accused by the official repression machine.
Only the most abject dictatorships in the world do things similar to what Brazil is doing today.
People have been in jail for almost two months in conditions that “human rights” groups would find intolerable for common criminals.
So far, the state judicial apparatus, with police, prosecutors, judges, STF, etc., etc., have not been able to tell, among the 900, who committed what crime – or even who committed no crime at all.
Since it doesn’t know, it keeps everyone in jail.
For how much longer? As in the concentration camps, there are no deadlines, information, or anything.
It is a spectacular insult to the law.
The most elementary step in criminal prosecution, without which there can be no prosecution, is to accuse a specific individual with an identity established beyond doubt of having committed this or that crime foreseen in the Penal Code.
It is the so-called “individualization” of “criminal conduct”.
Without this, we won’t get anywhere; the minimum obligation of the public authority when arresting someone is to say what he did or is accused of.
There is no such thing as a collective crime in Brazil, something to be committed by many people.
The accusation must, obligatorily, be directed to a specific individual and in a particular act.
What if 20 people committed the crime? Each of the 20 has to be indicted individually.
It is also not a crime to be near a crime scene or criminals – in the same way that it is not a crime to be inside a soccer stadium when gangs of criminals are fighting among themselves in fan clubs.
None of this is true for the prisoners in Brasília. They are right-wingers – so they have no rights.
Shockingly, former governor Sergio Cabral, sentenced to 400 years for corruption, is free while hundreds of Brazilians are imprisoned without due process of law.
The same astonishment occurs when murderers, robbers, or rapists caught in the act are released from jail as soon as their lawyer arrives – or when the MST, in yet another act of terrorism in the countryside near Brasilia, savagely attacks a citizen.
The criminals are released five minutes after signing a piece of paper at a police station.
It is simply incomprehensible for the ordinary Brazilian.
Is this justice? Is this democracy?
Published in Estadão, February 26, 2023