Based on a report that recounts numerous episodes of attacks on the prerogatives of lawyers, civil society organizations are urging the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) to run a public campaign to promote lawyers who stand up for human rights and social movements.
The organizations, formed by grassroots cause lawyers, are also calling on the Federal Council of the Bar Association to stage a debate on the demilitarization of the police.
The violations identified by the organizations include situations in which lawyers and detained demonstrators have been prevented from communicating. They also mention the denial of information, by the police, on the charges facing detained demonstrators and where they are being held.
The report, which was submitted today to the OAB during a session of the Federal Council, claims that the violations by the State against the practice of cause lawyering intensified after the demonstrations of June 2013.
It presents cases that have occurred across Brazil in which lawyers who work in the defense of social movements, demonstrators and human rights activists have been disrespected and threatened.
“Using the argument that they are protecting the public order, they have committed numerous abuses of constitutional guarantees. Not only are the activities of demonstrators being criminalized, but so is the business of practicing law,” reads an excerpt of the document.
The Justice and Human Rights Articulation (JusDh) network, of which Conectas is part, is one of the signatories of the report.
Click here to read the document in full.