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Brazil: Witness protection: Wagner dos Santos

, Index number: AMR 19/024/1995

AI has received information from the Brazilian government that Wagner dos Santos, the only adult witness to the Candelaria massacre in which seven street children and one adult were killed in Rio de Janeiro on 23 July 1993, was escorted by police officials to a secret location in order to secure his safety, by decision of President Fernando Cardoso. AI welcomes this protection and hopes that the government will ensure that an effective national witness protection program will be implemented. This report details several initiatives that have been taken by national and inter-governmental organizations to try and secure Wagner dos Santos's safety, and that of the child witnesses to the massacre. AI believes that the case sets an important precedent for the protection of all witnesses testifying in cases of human rights violations in Brazil.

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