Brazilian Lawyer Eloísa Samy, accused of committing acts of violence during street protests in Rio, is at the General Consulate of Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro, and seeks political asylum in the neighboring country.
She is among the 23 activists whose preventive detention was ruled last Friday by a Rio de Janeiro court as part of a police investigation which resulted in charges of criminal conspiracy.
The announcement was made by the Institute of Defenders of Human Rights (DDH), an NGO of which Eloísa Samy is a member. According to DDH, the lawyer seeks asylum in an attempt to defend herself, at liberty, from the charges brought by the Public Prosecution Office.
Samy is accused of having led violent acts Rio. The prosecution’s complaint states that she joined the group that organized depredations to give legal advice.
But ended up participating actively, giving advice to the activists. In addition, the public ministry says, the lawyer provided logistical support, even offering the residence where she lives for meetings of the group.
According to the DDH, military police agents are currently surrounding the Uruguayan Consulate, in south Rio de Janeiro. Civilian police officers are also in the vicinity of the Consulate ready to arrest her if she leaves the building.
The decision to grant political asylum or not to Samy and to political activists David Paixão and Camila Nascimento, who took refuge with her at the consulate, will be taken by the Embassy of Uruguay in Brazilian capital Brasília.
Involved in Operation Firewall, undertaken by the Civilian Police, they looked for shelter in the Consulate-General of Uruguay in Rio.
They have been accused of criminal association. Samy and 22 activists had a preventive arrest warrant issued.
Representing Rio’s Lawyers Collective, Rodrigo Mondego, met the three of them at the Uruguayan Consulate. He said that Samy believes she is the victim of political persecution and fears that her rights will not be guaranteed in the course of the process. She wishes to defend herself in liberty.
Mondelo believes the case is tinted by politics. “She asked for shelter at the Consulate after having three of her rights violated: her human rights to presumption of innocence, to a fair trial and to freedom,” he said.
“We observe that the human right to a fair trial is denied due to interests of agents of the State to turn the arrests into political pamphlet to instill fear into those who protest against the government,” criticized Mondego.
The whole process, with the details about the charges against the activists has been sealed.
In a video recorded by the Ninja Media Group, inside the Consulate, the lawyer, who is an expert in criminal lawsuits, defended herself from the charges made against her.
She stated that she does not even know most of people she is being charged of conspiring with. Her only crime, she says, is “acting in defense of the constitutional right to demonstrate.” In 2013, she defended demonstrators arrested in protests.
Activists are gathered in front of the Consulate of Uruguay. They hold posters and stop traffic in support of Samy and Paixão.