Jurists call for shelving of inquiry against demonstrators
Lawyers, judges, legislators and law professors have signed a manifesto exposing the illegalities of Inquiry 01/2013, opened by DEIC (Criminal Investigation Department of the São Paulo Civil Police) to investigate the use of black bloc tactics at protests.
In the document, the jurists request the immediate shelving of the investigation, the end of the criminalization of demonstrations and the release of Fábio Hideki and Rafael Marques, two activists arrested during the World Cup.
They also claim that the inquiry is illegal. The illegalities include the absence of any criminal charges, the confiscation of books from the homes of suspects, statements taken about their political views, the infiltration of officers in demonstrations without judicial authorization and the arrest of those under investigation without any formal charges.
The manifesto proves that the inquiry is being used illegally to determine the political positions of the demonstrators, and not to investigate criminal acts, as the law requires.
“You don’t conduct an inquiry to investigate people, but to look into alleged criminal acts. If the police is unable to identify a criminal act, then the investigation is illegal,” said Rafael Custódio, coordinator of the Justice program at Conectas. “This type of procedure, typical of authoritarian regimes, has the declared purpose of curbing protests.”
The inquiry opened in October 2013 does not define the target of the investigation, but hundreds of people have already been summoned to testify – including the parents of demonstrators and people who never even participated in the protests, according to reports.
“Summoning demonstrators to appear at the police station to ‘give statements’, in order to intimidate them from protesting further, is an affront to the hard-fought constitutional rights and guarantees secured in 1988,” added Custódio.
The jurists also condemn the arrests of Hideki and Marques and the attitude of the São Paulo Public Security Secretary, Fernando Grella, who forced 22 activists from the Free Fare Movement to testify in the DEIC.
Those who went to the police station were subjected to a series of questions about their political affiliation, the direction the country is taking and the reasons for their participation in the protests.
Conectas Human Rights supports the manifesto and requests the immediate shelving of Inquiry 01/2013.
Read the document in full here.