Reporters Without Borders calls on the Secretariat for Human Rights and its minister, Maria do Rosário, to investigate acts of violence and grave violations of constitutional rights by the Military Police (PM) during the protests against public transport fare hikes that began in São Paulo five days ago.
Similar investigations should be carried out in other cities where abuses of the same nature take place.
“The PM’s crackdown on the street protests has been accompanied by serious violations of freedom of information, one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1988 democratic constitution,” Reporters Without Borders said.
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.”
A Brazilian court decision that sex with a 12-year-old does not necessarily constitute statutory rape has caused outrage among human rights activists in the country.
The Superior Court of Justice ruled this week that a man accused of having sex with three 12-year-olds couldn’t be convicted of rape because of extenuating circumstances, including the fact the girls had previously worked as prostitutes.
Amnesty International on Friday blasted the verdict by the appeals court as “outrageous” and called it an “affront to the most basic human rights.