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[UPR] ACAT Brazil and FIACAT’s Report on the situation of torture and ill-treatment in Brazil

avril 2008

FIACAT and ACAT Brazil’s concerns about torture and ill treatment presented to the Human Rights Council for its examination of Brazil under the Universal Periodic Review, 1st session, from April 7-18, 2008.

Principal recommendations to the Brazilian State :

1. More effective inquiries into crimes of torture and summary executions practiced by public officials.

2. That an accused person who complains of being torture can be heard by a judge or other independent authority and speak with a lawyer from the beginning of his detention.

3. Police stations should be transformed into institutions that offer a service to the public. Legal police stations put in place under a pilot program in the state of Rio de Janeiro are models in this respect, which should be extended.

4. More promptness in judicial procedures ; a better application of alterative punishments to prison for non-violent crimes, in order to decongest prisons ; the grouping of prisoners according to the type of crime committed ; and the implementation of effective programs for social reintegration.

5. Federalize crimes against human rights committed by public officials during a judicial inquiry.

6. Provide basic and continuing training to the police, prison staff, civil servants of the Public Ministry, and all officials involved in the implementation of the law.

These trainings should contain modules on human rights and constitutional matters, as well as scientific, technical modules. They should also highlight best practices in order to instill professional skills.

7. Make the Medical Legal Institute, which is currently part of the Secretariat of Public Security, independent from this body that carries out criminal investigations. That would permit more impartiality and truth in the appraisals. It is equally fundamental to identify the existence of psychological torture with examinations, which could be delegated to Public Health agencies.

8. Organize regular visits (every three years, for example) of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to Brazil in order to evaluate, verify, and assure his recommendations are being followed.

9. An access, without prior notification, to places where human rights violations are committed, conforming to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture that Brazil signed and ratified.

10. That the State puts in place massive consciousness-raising campaigns against torture.

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