Covid-19: Crimes Against Humanity Charges Pressed Against Bolsonaro at ICC

Caroline Oliveira
The ICC has jurisdiction on Brazilian territory, seeing that Congress included its statute into the Constitution – Sergio Lima/AFP

President Jair Bolsonaro had crimes against humanity charges filed against him at the International Criminal Court, by the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD), on Thursday (3rd). The legal experts claim that the Bolsonaro puts Brazilian lives at risk in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The ICC was asked to begin judicial proceedings and investigate the president’s conduct. “By choice or omission, Bolsonaro is putting people’s lives at risk, committing crimes and necessitating a response by the International Criminal Court, in order to protect the lives of thousands of people,” state the jurists in the document filed by lawyers Ricardo Franco Pinto and Charles Kurmay.

In the filing, a list of actions the president undertook and defends is presented. Among them: pronouncements that incite the end of social isolation and the reopening of schools and non-essential services, as well promoting the “Brazil Must Not Stop” campaign; visits to shops and attending protests stimulating the populous to have large gatherings; and the signing of decree that allows places of worship and lotteries to be open during the pandemic.

“The crimes he committed gravely affect the mental and physical health of the Brazilian population, exposing them to a virus lethal to many sectors and with a scary rate of proliferation, as we have seen in many countries. The places that neglected the policy of quarantine are seeing the biggest impacts of the pandemic, like in Italy, Spain and the United States”, the complaint highlights.

The ICC has jurisdiction on Brazilian territory, seeing that Congress included its statute into the Constitution. “Making the issue known worldwide and a statement from the ICC are urgently needed and necessary. We cannot accept what is happening in Brazil, meaning, complete impunity for Jair Bolsonaro, who is the main factor in the scaling up of criminal activity”, the document finalizes.

Translated by Ítalo Piva
Edited by Leandro Melito