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Urgent Action Outcome: Court Orders Investigation Into The Pandemic

On 26 November the Attorney General delivered to the Supreme Court a set of requests demanding further investigations into allegations made by the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic, whose report he had received on 27 October. On 3 December, a Supreme Court minister ordered to open an investigation into President Bolsonaro’s public statements on false information related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Attorney General’s Office informed that an investigation was already in course.


In October 2021, Brazil reached the record of 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, the second highest in the world. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if authorities had put people’s lives at the center of its decisions. But instead, arguing economic and political concerns, they deliberately minimized the impact of the pandemic on specific groups, promoted treatments without scientific evidence, and failed to secure enough vaccines for its population and to ensure essential supplies such as oxygen, as well as to protect groups who faced greater threats due to historic discrimination and inequality. 

Due to the potential human rights impact of the actions and omissions identified by the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission, Amnesty International urged the Attorney General to instruct the Federal Public Ministry to investigate these allegations. He had 30 days to decide whether to launch a judicial investigation based on the Commission’s allegations.

The action was partially successful since it contributed to the Attorney General delivering to the Supreme Court a set of ten requests based on the findings of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. The requests, whose merits run under secrecy, were handed over to six ministers of the Court and demand further investigations into authorities already being investigated.

In parallel and to analyse the human rights violations committed in Brazil during the pandemic, on 10 December 2021 Amnesty International released a report that presents recommendations for the Brazilian state to ensure a fair recovery from the crisis. Even though more than half of the population is fully vaccinated, the deepening of social inequalities and the authorities’ lack of accountability for the more than 615,000 deaths by Covid-19 still poses challenges that Amnesty International will continue to work on.


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