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  • Writer's pictureU.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil

Statement Condemning the Invasion of the Home and Law Offices of Dr. Cristiano Martins Zanin

The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil (USNDB) is a decentralized, democratic and non-partisan national network in the United States, including academics, students, social activists, environmentalists, workers, trade unionists, artists, lawyers and professionals, dedicated to: 1- educating the U.S. public about the current situation in Brazil; 2- defending social, economic, political and cultural advances in Brazil; and 3- supporting Brazilian NGO’s, trade unions, indigenous and afro-descendant communities, environmentalists, university professors and students, and other social movements and activists.

The USNDB joins with the Brazilian OAB (Brazilian Bar Association) and with the Union of Lawyers for the State of Sao Paulo, in vehemently condemning the invasion by the Brazilian Federal Police of the home and law offices of Dr. Cristiano Martins Zanin, legal counsel to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, and authorized by federal judge Marcelo Bretas at the behest of the Lava Jato Task Force of Rio de Janeiro.

The invasion of Dr. Zanin’s property, including what appeared to be the unrestricted search of his domicile as well as the unrestricted seizure of personal and family effects, motivated by the unfounded pretext of his receiving allegedly excessive legal fees and awards for the competent representation of his clients, constitutes a flagrant assault on Brazilian rule of law, attorney-client privilege, due process, and constitutional rights, as well as international civil and human rights.

Although the pretext justifying the search and seizure is devoid of any proof showing genuine civil or criminal liability, it has been treated by both the Ministerio Publico (Public Prosecutor’s Office) and the media as if it were the truth, propagating another false narrative in public opinion, not unlike some of the other arbitrary and baseless actions of the Lava Jato Task Force. As Dr. Zanin has stated publicly, the invasion of his home and office appears to be in direct retaliation for his well-founded public denunciations of the unconstitutional and illegal excesses of the Lavo-Jato operation, as well as his successful constitutional advocacy on behalf of his clients before the STF (Supreme Federal Court), including former President Lula.

The USNDB calls on the Brazilian judicial authorities to reverse and remedy immediately this reprehensible assault on rule of law, due process and constitutional rights, providing Dr. Zanin and his family all just compensation and restitution.

Respectfully submitted,

The U.S Network for Democracy in Brazil

You can find the full statement here

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