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Brazil government releases prisoners to make room for over 500 female 'protesters'

Unclear if new prisoners were involved in protest

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Yudi Sherman

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Yudi Sherman

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Shining a spotlight on media and government disinformation.

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January 18, 2023

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09:34 AM

Brazil government releases prisoners to make room for over 500 female 'protesters'

Brazil’s government is releasing female inmates to make room for women who were present at a protest against fraudulent elections last week. The demonstrators breached the Planalto, Alvorada and Jaburu Palaces — the seats of the country’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential office. 

Millions of Brazilians have spent months protesting the presidential election, declared in October for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a Left-wing former president who was imprisoned for corruption. Many insist the election was fraudulent and continue to demand that Right-leaning President Jair Bolsonaro retain his seat.

For over two months, civil unrest has plagued Brazil’s cities and streets after voting machine audits found significant voting regularities which may have helped Lula cross the finish line with 50.7% of the vote, the narrowest margin in Brazil’s history. Some areas also reported zero votes going to Bolsonaro. 

Brazilian authorities have so far arrested over 1,230 political prisoners related to last week’s protests. According to at least one official, all are being slapped with the same "’crimes’ with sentences of 15 years or more” and are being charged “all at once, in the same articles, without investigation, without evidence, and without individualization of conduct, that is, of ‘who did what'.”  

Some reportedly committed no crime at all but are nevertheless being charged by the Lula administration as though they broke into the government facilities.   

At least 518 of those arrested are women who may or may not have participated in the protest, according to Pleno News. At the request of Supreme Federal Court (STF) Minister Gilmar Mendes, the Women’s Penitentiary of the Federal District in Colmeia has released 85 inmates to make room for the new prisoners. The released inmates are among those who are authorized to leave prison grounds during daytime hours under supervision. They will continue to be monitored electronically. 

A police officer familiar with the criminal proceedings against the protesters said the majority of those arrested in connection with last week’s protest are “humble decent people, entire families whose ‘real crime’ was just being camped in front of the army headquarters, believing they were protected by it, demonstrating for freedom.” 

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