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Brazil’s frontline health workers pursue ICC probe of government’s COVID-19 response

An umbrella group representing more than one million Brazilian medical professionals, filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week, citing Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's government of being “criminally negligent in its management of the COVID-19 pandemic” and “risking the lives of healthcare professionals and of members of the Brazilian society.”

Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world and with cases rising, the government has continued to downplay the pandemic, comparing the virus to a "little flu.” The ICC complaint accuses the president of “intensifying the pandemic by publicly opposing social isolation measures and encouraging the use of the anti-malarial medicines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, despite evidence from multiple scientific studies and numerous recommendations of health experts.”

Marcio Monzane, a member of the of UNI Americas - the organisation that led the legal action against Bolsonaro, said the Bolsonaro's administration "should be held accountable for its callous response to the pandemic” and called the government response “a crime against humanity.” 

Susbquently, 152 Catholic bishops in Brazil signed an open letter condemning the government and its use of "unscientific arguments... to normalise a COVID-19 plague that is killing thousands.”

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