Ex-Brazilian President Seeks Refuge in Hungary Amid Political Persecution Investigation

Bolsonaro seeks refuge at Hungarian embassy while passport is confiscated; investigation continues

In October 2022, former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was defeated by leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a presidential election. Following his defeat, an investigation into an alleged plot to stage a military coup was launched against Bolsonaro. The investigation led to the confiscation of his passport and he was ordered to explain the purpose of his stay at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia between February 12 and 14 to Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes by a certain deadline.

Security camera footage revealed that Bolsonaro stayed at the Hungarian embassy for two nights, which was first reported by the New York Times. Moraes instructed Bolsonaro to explain the purpose of his stay at the embassy, but Bolsonaro’s lawyer claimed that he was there to maintain contact with officials of a friendly country and receive updates on the political horizon of the two nations. Despite facing legal challenges and possible criminal charges, Bolsonaro remains active in political circles both domestically and internationally.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a nationalist and political ally of Bolsonaro, has been in power for over 14 years. The Hungarian embassy in Brasilia did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. Despite their differences in political ideologies, Orban has continued to maintain close relations with Bolsonaro even after leaving office, calling him his “brother” during a visit to Budapest in 2022. It remains unclear what led Orban to offer shelter to Bolsonaro during this time, but it is clear that their friendship transcends political boundaries and continues to thrive despite legal challenges and potential consequences.

Sophia Reynolds

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