IACHR

Press Release

IACHR Expresses Concern over Impeachment of President of Brazil

September 2, 2016

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001
mrivero@oas.org

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is concerned over the impeachment process that led to the removal from office of the constitutional and democratic President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, through a political trial about which questions have been raised regarding the guarantees of due process.

On August 31, 2016, with 61 votes in favor of the impeachment, the Brazilian Senate decided to remove President Rousseff from office, after she had been elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014, both times through a democratic process in which she won by popular vote. The IACHR is concerned over the accusations about irregularities, arbitrariness and lack of due process guarantees during the stages of the procedure. The Organization of American States (OAS) and other international organizations have also expressed their concern.

The Inter-American Commission observes that the figure of impeachment is provided for in the laws and regulations of several countries in the region, where Congresses, Parliaments and Assemblies have competence to apply it. Without prejudice to such competences, the Inter-American Human Rights System has considered that any punitive procedure must meet minimal due process guarantees, particularly in the event that these proceedings may affect a person's human rights. Compliance with these principles is especially relevant in matters related to civil servants elected by popular vote, such as the case of President Dilma Rousseff.

In light of these concerns over compliance with due process guarantees, the IACHR considers especially important the monitoring and supervision functions that the competent authorities of the Judiciary in Brazil implement on this case. The organs of international supervision are also closely following this case, as well as the potential repercussions that the destitution process has on the rights of President Rousseff and Brazilian society. The IACHR has a request of precautionary measure and a petition, which continue their regular course.

Commissioner Paulo Vannuchi, a Brazilian citizen, does not participate in the deliberations of this request for precautionary measures and this petition, in conformity with Article 17.2.a of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure. In addition, the Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão, has decided not to participate in the processing of this request for precautionary measures and this petition, due to his previous post as National Secretary of Justice of Brazil during the first mandate of President Dilma Rousseff.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 126/16