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Brazil: Measures for the Prevention of Torture


Friday, December 23, 2011

A recent workshop, carried out in partnership with the National Secretariat for Human Rights and with the School of the Pernambuco General Prosecutor's Office, aimed at promoting monitoring visits to places of deprivation of liberty, strengthening the capacity of local actors in monitoring methodologies, and encouraging the respect for legal norms that prohibit torture and fight impunity.

Members and staff of the State of Pernambuco General Prosecutor's Office (Ministério Público), members of the State Committee to Prevent and Combat Torture and representatives of civil society organizations, as well as representatives of the Executive Secretariat for Rehabilitation and from the Executive Secretariat of Justice and Human Rights, participated in the International Workshop on Monitoring Places of Deprivation of Liberty, from December 5 to 7. This workshop, carried out in partnership with the National Secretariat for Human Rights and with the School of the Pernambuco General Prosecutor's Office, aimed at promoting monitoring visits to places of deprivation of liberty, strengthening the capacity of local actors in monitoring methodologies, and encouraging the respect for legal norms that prohibit torture and fight impunity.

The gender perspective in monitoring was emphasized during the course. The United Nations rules for the treatment of female inmates and non liberty depriving measures for women (Bangkok Rules), published last year, were adopted in the course as an integral part of the methodology for preventive monitoring to be used by institutions that carry out monitoring visits.

As part of the training, participants visited two places of detention in the state:  Aníbal Bruno Prison and the Abreu e Lima Center for Educational Measures.

The State of Pernambuco has put in place in 2009 a Committee to Prevent and Combat Torture, comprised of representatives of public institutions and from civil society organizations. Organized as a collegiate, it has been discussing and studying the creation of a Local Mechanism to Prevent and Combat Torture at state level, in compliance with the UN Optional Protocol Against Torture, along the lines of those already established in the States of Rio de Janeiro (law n. 5.778/2010), Alagoas (law n. 7.141/2009) and Paraíba (law n. 9.413/2011). Such a measure would be extremely important considering that the Aníbal Bruno Prison, located in Recife, was recently subject of a set of precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights aimed at protecting the life, personal integrity and health of inmates. Among the measures ordered by the Commission, it says that the State must increase the prison’s security personnel, hence eliminating the "chaveiros" (key keepers), and ensure proper medical assistance to inmates.

The workshop participants committed to intensify the role of the General Prosecution’s Office as a supervising body of places of deprivation of liberty. Furthermore, they hope to strengthen their network in order to foster the debate and promote the implementation of the Local Mechanism to Prevent and Combat Torture at state level.

 

APT Publications:

Monitoring Places of Detention: A practical guide

Detention Monitoring Briefing 1: Making Effective Recommendations

 

Partners:

Ministério Público de Pernambuco

Escola Superior do Ministério Público de Pernambuco

Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República

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