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UA 422/94 - Brazil: torture / fear for safety: Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues da Silva, Ismael Soares Rodrigues, Wanderlei Batista and others from Borel shanty town, Rio de Janeiro

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 19/024/1994

Fears for the safety of civilians caught in the anti-crime crackdown by the security forces have been heightened by reports of the torture and ill-treatment of residents of the Borel shanty town, Rio de Janeiro, during an anti-drugs raid. More than 1000 soldiers and police occupied Borel between 25 and 28 November 1995. A local priest and nuns have reporeted hearing and seeing people being tortured. Five local residents, including those named above, denounced their torture - including kicking, beating, drowning and electric shocks - to the local police. AI is calling for these reports to be investigated.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/24/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 422/94 Torture / Fear for safety 1 December 1994
BRAZIL Carlos Eduardo RODRIGUES DA SILVA, aged 18, football player
Ismael SOARES RODRIGUES, market stall holder
Wanderlei BATISTA, trader
and others from Borel shanty town, Rio de Janeiro
As anti-crime operations by joint forces of army and police personnel continue
in the state of Rio de Janeiro, fears for the safety of civilians caught up
in the crackdown have been heightened by reports of the torture and ill-treatment
of residents of the Borel shanty town, favela morro do Borel, Rio de Janeiro,
during an anti-drugs raid.
Between 25 and 28 November 1994, more than 1000 soldiers and police officers
reportedly occupied Borel. According to a local priest, Father Olinto
Pegoraro, about 15 local people were taken by the military to the parish church
where they were subjected to torture, beatings and kickings. The priest showed
reporters blood stains in the church sacristy's floor, allegedly from torture
victims. He claims that he was not allowed into the church, but could hear
the screams of the detainees. A group of local nuns told a reporter from the
newspaper O Globo that they saw police officers applying electric shocks to
various people and kicking and beating one man. Five local residents denounced
their torture to the local police station and were subjected to a forensic
medical examination.
Among the tortured was Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues Silva. He alleged that he was
kicked, slapped in the face and beaten with truncheons by the military inside
the church. Another local man, Wanderlei Batista, alleged that he was detained
by the army and taken to the church, where he was thrown to the floor and kicked
by military and civil police agents. A third local resident, Ismael Soares
Rodrigues, alleged that a group of civil police and military army officers
took him to the backyard of a nearby hut, barraco, where he was subjected to
beatings, electric shocks and near drowning for almost 9 hours. The owner of
the hut, a 72-year-old man, confirms his allegations.
An army spokesman denied that any violence took place during the operation.
The spokesman, Major Francisco Paiva, said that he personally was in the church
and did not see any blood stains or signals of violence. However Major Paiva
said that a letter from father Pegoraro, denouncing the torture was being
examined by the commander of operations of the Easter Military District, General
Roberto Camara Senna.
On 31 October an agreement was signed between the Federal Government and the
Governor of Rio de Janeiro for a military commander to assume joint command
of military and civil police forces in Rio de Janeiro as part of a special
operation to combat arms and drug trafficking in the state for a 60-day
extendable period. Since November 18 army troops and weaponry have been deployed
in operations in a number of favelas in Rio de Janeiro. On 28 November Amnesty
International wrote to president Itamar Franco stressing that if military
agencies were designated to take part in law enforcement activities, it was
essential that international standards and UN criminal justice standards were
adhered to all times. The events reported from Borel have greatly increased
concerns for the safety of other inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro who may become
caught up in the continuing operations.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters in Portuguese, Spanish, English or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues da Silva, Ismael
Soares Rodrigues, Wanderlei Batista and other residents of the Borel shanty
town in Rio de Janeiro were tortured and ill-treated during a joint military
and police raid in the shanty town between 25 and 28 November;
- calling for these reports to be thoroughly investigated and those responsible
be brought to justice;
- in view of these reports, calling on the authorities to guarantee the safety
of civilians during any future operations by ensuring that military and police
personnel adhere to international standards and United Nations criminal justice
standards at all times;
- stressing that, during any future operations, there must be a high degree
of transparency and access for human rights observers to the places the operation
takes place;
- calling on the authorities to ensure that members of the public are fully
informed of their rights, and are aware of the mechanisms available to them
to lodge complaints should they feel that their human rights or those of their
relatives have been violated.
APPEALS TO
Minister of Justice
Exmo Sr. Ministro da Justiça
Sr Alexandre Dupreyrat
Ministério da Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios
Bloco 23
70.064 Brasília, DF
Brasil
Faxes: + 55 61 321 5145/5172
Telegrams: Ministro de Justiça Dupreyrat, Brasilia, Brazil
Salutation: Vossa Excelência / Your Excellency / Su excelencia
Chief of the Joint Military Staff
Generalde Exército Antônio da Rocha Veneu
Esplanada dos Ministérios Bloco Q
70.000 Brasilia DF, Brasil
Salutation: Vossa Excelência / Your Excellency / Su excelencia
Governor of Rio de Janeiro
Exmo Sr Governador do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Dr Nilo Batista
Palácio Guanabara
Rua Pinheiro Machado s/n, Rio de Janeiro -RJ, Brasil
Faxes: + 55 21 5528390/5536090
Telegrams: Governador Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Salutation: Vossa Excelência / Your Excellency / Su excelencia
Commander of Operations - Eastern District
General Roberto Camara Senna
Comando Militar do Leste
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Faxes: + (55) (21) 233 23 39
Salutation: Senhor General / Dear General / Señor general
3
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Movimento "Viva Rio"
Rua Ipiranga 107
Larangeiras, CEP 22231-120- Rio de Janeiro -RJ-
Brasil
Newspaper O Dia
O Dia
Rua do Riachuelo 359
20235-900 Rio de Janeiro, Rj-
Brasil
Faxes: + (5521) 5071 228
and to diplomatic representatives of Brazil accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your Section office, if sending appeals after 10 January 1995.

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