Brazil: states should act on killings by police

Human Rights Watch, 11/29/2012

A resolution by Brazil’s Human Rights Defense Council outlines crucial steps needed to reduce unlawful killings by police, Human Rights Watch said today. The resolution calls on law enforcement officials at the state level to ensure that all killings by their police forces are properly investigated.

The council, led by Human Rights Minister Maria do Rosário, issued the resolution on November 28, 2012, following a public consultation with government officials, public security experts, and civil society representatives.

“Police officers in many parts of Brazil face real difficulties and dangers when confronting violent crime, and many of them have lost their lives in the line of duty,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Unfortunately, their legitimate efforts to enforce the law have often been undermined by other officers who themselves engage in unlawful violence, executing people and falsely claiming their victims died in shootouts.”

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