von Gert Eisenbürger / Informationsstelle Lateinamerika
Das EU-Parlament verleiht jedes Jahr den Sacharov-Preis für Menschenrechte. Jede Fraktion kann dafür Vorschläge einreichen. Die Grünen haben in diesem Jahr posthum die ermordete brasilianische Politikerin, Feministin und LGBTI-Aktivistin Marielle Franco und den ehemaligen Abgeordneten und LGBTI-Aktivisten Jean Wyllis (vgl. dieses Interview) vorgeschlagen.

Da die Preisträger mit der Mehrheit des EU-Parlaments gewählt werden müssen, ist es nicht sehr wahrscheinlich, dass die beiden den Preis bekommen (in der Regel mauscheln da Konservative, Sozis und Rechtsliberale etwas aus), aber sie haben durchaus Chance zu den drei Finalist*innen zu gehören, über die das Parlament dann abstimmt. Wenn sie das – wie im letzten Jahr die Guatemaltekin Lolita Chávez (vgl.Interview in der ila 426) – schaffen würden, wäre das schon eine Würdigung ihres Einsatzes für die Menschenrechte und ein Schlag ins Gesicht der rechtsextremen Regierung von Jair Bolsonaro. Deshalb ist es jetzt wichtig, dass möglichst viele an EU-Abgeordnete herantreten und sich für Marielle Franco und Jean Wyllys als Kandidat*innen für den Sacharov-Preis einsetzen.

Our candidates for the Sakharov Prize 2019:**Jean Wyllys and Marielle Franco (posthumously)

endorsed by Terry Reintke, WG Verdelatino and…
Why nominate Jean Wyllys and Marielle Franco for the Sakharov Prize 2019?

·*To acknowledge two outstanding individuals*: as human rights defenders, they are preeminent symbols of the defence of freedom of expression and freedom of thought that the Sakharov Prize aims to advance.

·*To pay tribute*: they have dedicated their lives for these freedoms, even bearing a very heavy personal prize. Marielle Franco has paid her outspoken engagement with her life; Jean Wyllys has had to flee his country under death threats.

·*To support Brazilian democracy*: the rule of law, democratic institutions and the respect of human rights are gravely undermined in Brazil since the election of President Bolsonaro. Jean Wyllys and Marielle Franco have stood up against gender-based violence, deep social inequality, persistent police brutality and the deterioration of Brazil’s democratic reality.

·*To denounce a global backlash*: both activists have placed their defence of human rights within the broader fight against the global regressive agenda of the far-right populists.

*To support LGBT rights*: Jean and Marielle are figureheads of the global movement in support of the respect of the rights of LGBT persons in Brazil and beyond. As openly gay/lesbian activists, they faced violent homophobia, which they tirelessly denounced.

·*To break ground*: in over 30 years of the Sakharov Prize, no nominee nor laureate has originated from Brazil, nor has stemmed from the LGBT community.

·*To advance diversity and social justice*: As persons of colour and of an underprivileged background, Jean and Marielle have placed the defence of marginalized groups and social justice at the core of their engagement.**

·*To shape EU policy*: Brazil is a strategic partner of the EU and a long-time ally at regional and international level. It is fundamental to ensure that human rights continue to be at the core of EU engagement with this country, particular in the context of the MERCOSUR Association agreements.

JEAN WYLLYS DE MATOS SANTOS, Brazilian human rights defender, journalist and political activist

Jean Wyllys was born in 1974 in extreme poverty. His first steps into political activism happened in the context of the religious grass roots communities of the Catholic Church.

Having graduated in journalism, he became editor of Correio da Bahia and worked in several media outlets, receiving multiple awards for his reports. He earned a Master’s degree in Literature and Linguistics from the Federal University of Bahia and was a university professor. In 2005, he won the fifth edition of Big Brother Brazil, with a record vote of tens of millions of people, bringing the debate on homophobia to one of the most popular Brazilian TV.

In 2010, he stood for national elections and was elected federal deputy (PSOL-Party), being the first gay activist to win a seat in Congress. During his two consecutive mandates, he tabled legislative proposals on equal civil marriage, legalization of abortion, regulation of sex work, gender identity law, humanized childbirth, legalization of marijuana and schools free from prejudice. Jean Wyllys was elected on several occasions the best deputy in Brazil. He also continued teaching as a Professor of Master’s degree in HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis at UNIRIO, and gave lectures at leading universities around the world.

Jean Wyllys is the author of four books and a film and television scriptwriter. His activism comprises democracy, human rights and individual freedoms. The British magazine The Economist listed him among the 50 most important personalities in the defence of diversity, among other international recognitions.

In January 2019, despite his re-election, he did not take office and went into exile due to death threats against him and his family, for which he had been given precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. “A great day” tweeted Brazilian President Bolsonaro upon the news. Since then, he lives in Europe and travels the world denouncing the human rights violations in his country and the regressive policies of the far-right government of President Bolsonaro.

MARIELLE FRANCO, a Brazilian politician, feminist and human rights defender.

After earning a master’s degree in public administration, Marielle Franco served as a city councillor of the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro (PSOL party) from January 2017 until her death. On 14 March 2018, while in a car after delivering a speech, she and her driver were shot multiple times and killed in Rio de Janeiro. Franco had been an outspoken critic of police brutality and extrajudicial killings, as well as of the February 2018 federal intervention by Brazilian president “>Michel Temer in the state of Rio de Janeiro which resulted in the deployment of the army in police operations. In March 2019 two former police officers were arrested and charged with the murder of Marielle Franco: The case is ongoing
She fought fearlessly for a fairer Rio de Janeiro. She stood up for black women, LGBT people and young people, and condemned unlawful killings by the police.

The situation of LGBT in Brazil
Over the past decade, the Brazilian LGBT community has seen their rights expand, also in terms of legislation. In 2011, the Supreme Court explicitly awarded legal protection to LGBT people. Since 2013 Brazil recognizes same-sex marriage. LGBT Brazilians have become more visible in politics, music and culture. According to surveys, nearly three-quARTErs of Brazilians said they supported LGBT equality in 2017. This was one of the highest levels of support recorded across Latin America.

Since then however, there has been a harsh backlash in rights and security for LGBT people. Already in 2018, in the context of an increasingly violent election campaign, 420 murders of LGBT people were registered, while the precise number is probably much higher. During the campaign, Jair Bolsonaro said that if he had a gay son, he preferred to know him dead, and that if he saw two men kissing each other in the streets, he would punch them. Bolsonaro has decided to withdraw LGBT affairs from human rights protection.
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