Amnesty International urges the Brazilian government to implement the following recommendations to stamp out torture and to take steps to ensure that its public security system is both effective and aimed at upholding justice and respect for human rights.
Amnesty International calls on the Federal Government:
1. To condemn torture in all its forms, and use its legislative, financial and other powers to encourage, and if necessary require, states to comply fully with international standards for the protection of all human rights.
2. To make the declaration under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. To ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
3. To set up an independent national preventive monitoring mechanism for the prevention of torture, according to the requirements of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.
Amnesty International calls on State Governments:
4. To condemn torture in all its forms, and to ensure that all State agents responsible for acts of torture be brought to justice under Brazil’s torture law No. 9455/97.
5. To give the police and prison guards adequate resources and training to enable them to carry out their work without resorting to human rights violations, including torture.
6. In states where there is none, to take steps to establish an adequately resourced public defenders office to provide legal representation for all criminal suspects. In states where there already is a public defenders office, to ensure that it is adequately resourced.
7. To establish a specialist human rights unit in every state Public Prosecutors Office to oversee the prosecution of State agents accused of committing human rights violations, in order to guarantee the independence of these investigations.
8. To end the holding of pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners in the custody of the Civil Police.
9. To set up a protection system for detainees not currently covered by witness protection schemes, to ensure the adequate protection of victims and witnesses of torture held in detention.
10. To establish fully independent forensic investigation units and to give detainees prompt access to an independent medical expert specifically where torture or ill-treatment is alleged or suspected.
11. To ensure that male guards respect the rights of all female prisoners and are always accompanied by a female guard.
12. To implement the safeguards and provisions relating to the incarceration of children and adolescents in Brazil’s own Statute of the Child and Adolescent (ECA).
Amnesty International – www.amnesty.org
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