• Campaigns

UA 80/94 - Brazil: legal/medical concern / fear for safety: Jose Teixeira Castilho ("Ze de Fejao")

, Index number: AMR 19/006/1994

There is concern for the health of rural trade unionist Jose Teixeira Castilho, known as Ze de Feijao, who has been held in police custody at Maraba, state of Para, for 20 days without charge. He suffers from Hansen's disease (leprosy) and has reportedly been deprived access to his daily medication. He is a director of the Rural Workers Trade Union of Eldorado do Carajas, and has received death threats and attempts on his life in connection with his trade union activities. On 10 February 1994 he was detained without a warrant and held in "temporary imprisonment" for five days. This was extended in unclear circumstances. His lawyers have been refused access to information about the case against him, and have presented a habeas corpus petition before the Para State Appeals Court.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/06/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 80/94 Legal/Medical Concern/Fear For Safety 2 March 1994
BRAZIL José TEIXEIRA CASTILHO 'Ze de Fejão' - Trade unionist
Amnesty International is concerned for the health of rural trade unionist José
Teixeira Castilho, otherwise known as de Feijão, who has been held in custody
at the regional police station of Marabá in the state of Pará for 20 days without
charge. He suffers from Hansen's disease (leprosy) and since his detention
on 10 February 1994 has reportedly been deprived of access to daily drug
treatment for the disease.
José Teixeira Castilho is a director of the Rural Workers Trade Union of Eldorado
do Carajás and has received death threats and attempts on his life in connection
with his trade union activities. His father-in-law, Arnaldo Delcídio Ferreira,
the last President of the Rural Workers' Union of Eldorado do Carajás was killed
by a hired gunman who entered his home and shot him dead as he slept on 2 May
1993 (See UA 156/93, AMR 19/18/93). Investigations into this killing have
not progressed, although there are strong suspicions that a particular landowner
commissioned the killing. During the night of 8 January 1994 shots were fired
into the house where José Teixeira Castilho lives with his wife and five
children. The attempt on their lives was reported to the police, who reportedly
took no action to investigate.
On 10 February 1994, José Teixeira Castilho was detained without a warrant
in Eldorado do Carajás by two civil policemen who drove him to the town of
Marabá. In Marabá a judge then decreed his "temporary imprisonment" for five
days. He was detained reportedly on suspicion of involvement in an incident
in which the ranch house of the Abaéte Estate, owned by the previously mentioned
landowner had been burnt down. José Teixeira Castilho denies any involvement
in the incident.
The trade unionist's "temporary detention" was extended by the judge in unclear
circumstances, since the judge was himself absent from Marabá until 17 February.
By 1 March 1994 José Teixeira Castilho had been in detention for 20 days and
no charges had been brought against him. Lawyers representing him have been
refused access to information about the case against him. They have presented
a habeas corpus petition on his behalf to the Pará State Appeals Court in the
state capital Belém and to the Superior Appeals Court in the federal capital
Brasília. They have also sought for him to have access to drugs that he needs
to take on a daily basis as part of his medical treatment for Hansen's disease.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Under the "Temporary Imprisonment Law" (no.7,960 of 1989), Lei de Prisão
Temporária, suspects may be detained without charge for a five day period;
a judge may renew the detention for a further five days if there is "extreme
and proven necessity". Under the Law of Heinous Crimes (no.8,072 1990) Lei
de Crimes Hediondos, in the case of certain crimes "temporary imprisonment"
without charge may be decreed for 30 days, and is extendable for a further
30 days when there is "extreme and proven necessity".
Peasants members and leaders of rural trade unions in Pará state have been
targets of death threats, assaults, abductions and killing in the context of
land disputes with local landowners. While Amnesty International takes no
position on land disputes, the organization is concerned at persistent impunity
2
for killings of trade unionists which has in turn left them increasingly
vulnerable to attacks on their lives. At the same time state police forces
have participated in violent evictions of peasants from land they claim. On
many occasions this has involved arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and
sometimes torture.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Portuguese or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the health of José Teixeira Castilho, detained in
the regional police station of Marabá since 10 February, and urging that he
be given full access to medical treatment for Hansen's disease including access
to a doctor or hospital if necessary.
- expressing concern that the trade unionist has been detained without charge
for 20 days, and urging that he should either be charged with recognizable
criminal offences or released from custody immediately.
- expressing concern at previous death threats and attempts on the life of
José Teixeira Castilho, urging a full investigation into the authors of these
assaults, that those responsible be brought to justice, and that the authorities
offer guarantees for his physical safety.
-expressing concern at the lack of progress of investigations into the killing
on 2 May 1993 of Arnaldo Delcídio Ferreira, President of the Rural Workers
Trade Union of Eldorado do Carajás and urging that those responsible are brought
to justice.
APPEALS TO:
(All Salutations : Vossa Excelência/ Your Excellency)
1) Attorney General for Pará State
Dra Edite Marília Crespo
Procuradoria De Justiça do Estado do Pará
Praça Felipe Patroni
66.000 Belém, PA, Brazil
Faxes: + 55 91 224 7198
2) State Governor of Pará
Exmo Sr Jader Barbalho
Governador do Estado do Pará
Av Augusto Monte Negro/ KM 09
66.823-010 Belém, PA, Brazil
Telegrams : Governador Pará, Belém, Brazil
Telexes : 9111012 GOPA BR or 916978 GOPA BR
Faxes : + 55 91 222 3910
3) Minister of Justice
Exmo Sr Mauricio Corrêa
Ministro da Justiça, Ministério de Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco 23
70.064 Brasília DF, Brazil
Telegrams : Ministro da Justiça, Brasília, Brazil
Faxes : +55 61 224 4357
Telexes : 611003 MNJU BR, 611088 MNJU BR
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
President of the Pará State Appeals Court
Exmo Sr Presidente
Tribunal de Justiça do Pará
3
Praça Felipe Patroni s/n
66.000 Belém, PA, Brazil
Faxes : + 55 91 241 2970
Attorney General's Office
Dr. Alvaro Ribeiro da Costa
Procuradoria Geral da República
Avenida L2 Sul, SG AS 603, Lote 23, S 328
70.200 Brasília, Brazil
Faxes : + 55 61 313 5444
Local human rights organization
Sociedade Paraense de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos
Rua 5 de Abril, Caixa Postal 277
68.500 Marabá, PA, Brazil
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 13 April 1994.

Choose a language to view report