201. By letter dated 29 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, advised the Government on the observations of the latter upon his visit to 44th Distrito Policial (Guaianazes, São Paulo State) on 15 March 2002. The Special Rapporteur on the right to food noted that the cells were holding four times more people than their official capacity. In each of the five cells measuring approximately 16 square metres, up to 32 persons were detained at the time of the visit. These cells were very dirty and smelly and did not have any proper lighting and ventilation systems. Detainees had to sleep, in shifts, on the bare concrete floor. A hole was used as a toilet and shower. Food was kept in unsanitary conditions next to the toilets. There was no drinkable water in the cells. In particular, the Special Rapporteurs drew the Government’s attention to the cases of Marcio Ferreira da Silva, who had allegedly been sentenced to 11 months of imprisonment for a minor offence, and was believed to have already served 12 months of imprisonment and of Alcides Barão de Lima, who had allegedly been forced to sign a self-accusatory statement. Similarly, concerns were expressed regarding the health condition of Rogaciano Alfredo Lunas, who was allegedly suffering from high pressure and heart troubles and Jose Claudio de Sousa Filho, who was reportedly in need of an urgent liver transplantation.
202. By letter dated 11 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information on the following individual cases.
203. Ricardo Colares was reportedly arrested by police officers on 7 December 2001, in the State of Amapá, on suspicion of murder. He was allegedly handcuffed and brought to a farm between the cities of Santana and Macapá, Amapá State. He was alleged to have been beaten and asphyxiated several times while he was interrogated about several thefts. He was said to have stayed the whole night handcuffed inside a car’s trunk. He was then obliged to give a press interview allegedly under threat of being ill- treated again.
204. Geicemar Mendes Gomes, a detainee at Complexo Penintenciário do Amapá, State of Amapá, was reportedly beaten on 18 October 2001. He was allegedly subjected to the so called “Russian roulette” (Roleta Russa). He allegedly received a shot in his right ear. He was reportedly brought to the emergency room after having lost a large amount of blood.
205. Cristiano José Batista da Silva was reportedly arrested on 23 July 2001 in Toritama, State of Pernambuco. On that day, around 200 members of the Movement of Landless Workers (MST - Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra), including him, were protesting by blocking the highway and looting a truck that was carrying sugar. After the distribution of the product among the peasants at a nearby camp, Cristiano José Batista da Silva went back to the highway with the truck driver, where the police had reportedly pulled them off. The police reportedly pointed guns at him and upon finding out that he was a member of MST, they allegedly started cursing and beating him with a scythe they had found in the truck. He was reportedly brought to the Caruaru First police station where he reportedly continued to receive kicks and punches, as well as threats. As the Chief of the Police was not present, he was allegedly taken to the Second police station of Caruaru. He was said to have eventually been taken to the Regional Hospital of Caruaru for a medical examination, where he was reportedly diagnosed with bruises on his body.
206. Argemiro Pereira Santos was reportedly arrested by military police officers in Caruaru, State of Pernambuco, at the Patio of Events (Pátio de Eventos), on 5 June 2001. Police officers allegedly took him to a deserted place where he was interrogated. Reportedly, since he could not provide them with any money, they covered his face with a plastic bag stinking of gasoline and beat him in the kidney area and in the genitals. Police officers allegedly threatened him not to tell what had happened to anyone at the Penitentiary, where he was remanded.
207. Israel Monteiro do Nascimento was reportedly arrested in Caruaru, State of Pernambuco, on 14 June 2001, by the military police officers. He was reportedly taken to a deserted spot, where his head was covered with a plastic bag soaked with gasoline and he allegedly received electric shocks to his chest and was punched on the head and genitals. It was said that he was subsequently forced to confess to being the owner of 700 grams of marijuana at the police station.
208. Aluizio Albino da Silva was reportedly arrested on 30 August 2001 in Vitória de Santo Antão, State of Pernambuco, beaten and asphyxiated with a plastic bag in order to make him confess to possessing marijuana. He reportedly signed a statement which he could not read.
209. Edemilson Bezerra da Silva was reportedly arrested on 9 March 2001 in Sítio Campo Novo, Caruaru, State of Pernambuco, beaten and subjected to electric shocks on his head and on his testicles by police officers. He was reportedly brought to the police station in Caruaru, where he was charged with drug dealing . It was alleged that during his trial, he told the judge about the treatment to which he had allegedly been subjected, but to no avail.
210. Celestino Juvêncio Pedro da Silva was reportedly arrested on 10 November 2000 between Caruaru and São Caetano, State of Pernambuco, handcuffed and brought to a neighbour’s property where he was questioned about drugs that were supposedly hidden inside his house. He was allegedly beaten and had his head covered with a plastic bag. It is reported that he was then taken to the police station at the Petrópolis neighborhood. He was believed to have been vomiting blood when he arrived there. It was said that he did not receive any medical treatment and that he was threatened with extraction of confession from him to drug possession.
211. Domingos Sávio de Souza and Josevânio Pereira dos Santos, both sentenced prisoners held in the open-regime City Jail, in Floresta, State of Pernambuco, reportedly left the jail on 11 December 2001. Shortly afterwards, they were allegedly arrested by some military police officers for no apparent reason, and taken to a nearby deserted spot, where they were said to have been asphyxiated with a plastic bad and to have received kicks in the abdomen. A police officer allegedly fired shots in order to intimidate Domingos Sávio de Souza into confessing to a murder.
212. Tarcício Santos Nogueira was reportedly arrested by military police officers on 22 March 2001 at a gas station and taken to the police station of Floresta and later to a neighbouring city called Belém de São Francisco. On the way, he was allegedly asphyxiated with a plastic bag, kicked in the stomach and forced to walk on burning coal in a deserted spot. Reportedly, he was eventually taken back to the Florestan Police Station where he was put in a cell under the surveillance of an officer who had been threatening him. He was reportedly forced to sign some papers that he was not allowed to read in the presence of the chief of police.
213. Adalberto Cesário da Silva was reportedly arrested on 8 August 2002 in Floresta, handcuffed and beaten in front of his family. He was allegedly taken to Petrolândia, but about one kilometer before the city, it was alleged that his feet were tied up, and he was stripped naked before being hung upside down from a tree branch. In that position, he was allegedly beaten and threatened with being killed. It was also reported that he was asphyxiated with a plastic bag. Police officers were said to have tried to insert an iron bar into his butt. Reportedly, he was eventually taken to the police station of Belém de São Francisco, where he was accused of being caught in flagrante delicto in possession of marijuana. He was then taken to the Floresta City Jail.
214. Márcio Augustinho de Souza and Manoel Quixabeira Filho were reportedly arrested on 27 June 2000 on suspicion of homicide. They were taken to the Carnaubeira and Floresta police stations. During their transfer to the latter police station, it was alleged that they were beaten and threatened that they would be shot dead. They were reportedly taken out of the car to two different bushes. Military police officers were said to have shot a gun allegedly in order to make Manoel Quixabeira Filho believe that Márcio Augustinho de Souza had been killed with a view to intimidating him into confessing to a murder. It was also believed that they were both asphyxiated. It was believed that they were made to sign papers at Floresta police station without being allowed to read them.
215. Luzinaldo Marques da Fonseca was reportedly arrested on 22 August 2001 at the bus station of Florestan and taken to the regional police station in Florestan where, being handcuffed, he allegedly received kicks in the chest. It was reported that he was not allowed to contact his family during his stay at the station.
216. Márcio Alexandre de Souza Silva, and a friend, José Marivaldo dos Santos, were reportedly abducted on 12 November 2001 by two military police officers who were said to have taken them to the bank of the São Francisco River, where they were allegedly asphyxiated with plastic bags, drowned in water, and hit on the head with the butt of guns. José Marivaldo dos Santos was allegedly threatened with guns and knives.
217. Orlando José Alves was reportedly arrested by 16 hooded police officers from the CIOSAC special team on 20 February 2000. He was allegedly subjected to the technique known as “pau de arara”, had a gun put into his mouth and dipped into a barrel full of water. He was reportedly taken to the police headquarters where he was allegedly punched and kicked, in particular in the ribs. Reportedly, he was later transferred to the Florestan main police station and three days after his arrest to the City Jail.
218. Milton Delgado dos Santos was reportedly arrested on 17 December 2001 by police officers from the CIOSAC special team. He was reportedly manhandled, threatened and insulted. Maria da Penha dos Reis, his daughter-in-law who was two months pregnant, was said to have been threatened and to have had a miscarriage as a result. A police investigation was said to have been opened on 27 December, in particular on the basis of a medical certificate delivered on 17 and 19 December.
219. Romuel Gomes de Sá Torres was reportedly approached by approximately 10 police officers from the CIOSAC special team around 17 December 2001. He was allegedly beaten and handcuffed face against the ground. It was alleged that police officers also stuck thorns under his fingernails and asphyxiated him with a plastic bag on two occasions. His legs were tied to a tree branch and he was left hanging upside down. He was also constantly threatened with death. A police inquiry was reported to have been opened on 17 December 2001 at the Salgueiro police station.
220. Josemar Gomes Feitosa Adilson Santos da Silva and Adailton Santos da Silva were reportedly arrested on 27 February 2002 at the Airi neighbourhood in Floresta by some 20 military police officers. They were reportedly taken to a river where they were threatened with death and hit with the butt of revolvers. They reportedly had their necks twisted and received kicks in the stomach and legs. It was believed that they were subjected to this treatment in order to make them confess to a crime and to incriminate somebody they did not know. A judge was said to have eventually sent an order to the Prison Guard Commander for their release. It was alleged that since their release, they had been threatened by police officers.
221. Arenilson Alves da Silva and Advânio da Silva Alves, mentally disabled persons, were reportedly arrested by police officers on 31 December 2001 in the Airi neighbourhood in Floresta. They were said to have been handcuffed with no explanation given and tied with a rope to a tree. In that position, they were allegedly beaten, especially on the face. Later, they were reportedly taken to another deserted spot, where Arenilson Alves da Silva’s father joined them. He was also allegedly beaten with a wooden stick and a rock. As a result, he was believed to have lost consciousness. Reportedly, Arenilson Alves da Silva was then asphyxiated with six plastic bags placed over his head. He was said to have also had his arm stung with a thorny plant called “chique-chique” and to have been tied to a car with a rope and dragged on the dirt. The two persons named above were then reportedly taken to the Riacho do Navio, where they were allegedly beaten in order to make them confess to taking part in a robbery. Afterwards, they were reportedly taken to the Regional Police Station in Floresta where Arenilson Alves da Silva was forced to confess to participating in a robbery while he was beaten with an iron stick and threatened. Advânio da Silva Alves was believed to have also been forced to confess when a gun was placed on his head. Both were then reportedly taken to the City Jail where they allegedly remained for 23 days.
222. Francisco das Chagas Gomes de Sousa was reportedly detained at the 10th Police Station in Teresina, in the State of Piauí, by members of the civil police in October 2001. Five days after his arrest, he was reportedly released with apparent bruises, cuts, a dislocated knee and coughing blood, allegedly as a result of the treatment to which he had been subjected while in detention. On the following day, he reportedly died at the hospital. It was reported that members of the federal police subsequently found a torture instrument at the police station, and confirmed that most of the 800 people held there the year before had been detained without notification to the judicial authorities and subjected to various forms of ill-treatment and extortion.
223. Sidney da Costa Tavares was reportedly beaten while in custody at the Police District No. 8, in São Paulo State, after he allegedly gave a testimony related to the beating of another detainee, Otávio Luís Cepi Teixera, to a non- governmental organization on 13 June 2002. Sidney da Costa Tavares was reportedly beaten with a rubber club and subjected to electric shocks and a bag was pulled over his head and a piece of cloth shoved into his mouth. As a result, he allegedly lost one tooth and suffered from shaking in his hands. He was believed to have undergone a forensic examination at a forensic medical institute (IML). It was reported that he was taken to a State Penitentiary Centre (Penitenciária do Estado) on 20 June 2002. While being transferred to prison, another plastic bag was allegedly pulled over his head and his hands and feet were reportedly tied.
224. Detainees at the pre-trial detention centre of Belem 2 Centro de Detenção Provisório, in São Paulo City, were allegedly hooded by guards for three consecutive nights, taken from their cells and beaten and given minimal medical treatment for injuries in September 2001. Seventeen detainees were reportedly accused of having planned an escape attempt. The Prisons Administration Secretariat informed that initial forensic examinations could not substantiate these claims, although detainees reported that the examinations had been cursory.
225. Detainees at DACAR 1 women’s prison, in the city of São Paulo, were allegedly awaken by gunshots on 22 April 2001. Members of the Grupo de Operações Especiais (GOE), a military police troop, had reportedly entered the detention centre and began shooting and beating female detainees. The GOE members were accompanied by the prison officer responsible for discipline and the operation was said to have followed protests by inmates. On 25 April 2001, an independent delegation, including a member of Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT)), a representative of a federal deputy, a municipal deputy and a State deputy who visited DACAR 1, reported that all women had been kept awake since the morning of the raid three days earlier and that they had had no electricity or water. A number of alleged victims reportedly complained about the widespread beatings and ill-treatment by prison guards, abuse, humiliatio n of visitors and lack of medical assistance and treatment. Furthermore, the delegation reportedly found evidence of illtreatment. Regarding the conditions of detention, it was alleged that rubbish was everywhere and that a stench permeated the whole building. Details regarding specific detainees were brought to the attention of the Government.
226. By the same letter, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received further information on conditions of detention in prisons and other centres of detention. In this context, he noted and reaffirmed the recommendations made by his predecessor and reminded the Government, in particular of recommendation (w) in the report on his mission to Brazil (E/CN.4/2001/66/Add.2), which states: “The appalling overcrowding in some provisional detention facilities and prisons needs to be brought to an immediate end, if necessary by executive action, for example by exercising clemency in respect of certain categories of prisoners, such as first-time non-violent offenders or suspected offenders. The law requiring separation of categories of prisoner should be implemented”. In relation to the conditions of detention, the Special Rapporteur received the following information.
227. Detainees at Butantã Women’s prison, in the State of São Paulo, were reportedly held in cells without toilets, or access to natural light or water.
228. Detainees at the 68th police station, São Paulo City, were reportedly held in four overcrowded cells, with no ventilation, bedding or access to natural light and exercise. Medical attention and access to lawyers were believed to be limited. Denilson Augusto de Oliveira was reported to be suffering from tuberculosis, but no medical tests had yet been done. Alessandro dos Santos Rodrigues had reportedly been detained for more than six months without trial. Edilson Severino de Alcantara reportedly sustained bruises and injuries in the left shoulder and in the chest apparently as a result of the punches and kicks he had received from police officers. André Nonato de Lima was believed to have been beaten by police officers twice with clubs. As a result, he apparently sustained abrasion in his head and bruises in the back.
229. Detainees at the Itaquaquecetuba Prison, State of São Paulo, were reportedly held in overcrowded cells, without toilets, bedding or exercise. Medical attention and access to lawyers and families was believed to be limited. The prison, which has an official capacity of 24 detainees, was believed to hold more than 45 inmates, a number of them were believed to be teenagers. J. E. F. L. and W. A. C., two juveniles, were reportedly beaten with a leather device called “pica de boi”, on 4 August 2002, following their refusal to move to Suzano and Guarulhos Prison for fear of being killed there by rival gangs. Their bodies were reportedly covered with bruises, but no investigation into the case had reportedly been carried out.
230. Detainees at Vila Independência Detention Centre, State of São Paulo, were reportedly held in overcrowded cells, without access to natural light or bedding. Medical attention and access to lawyers and families was believed to be limited. Antônio Carlos de Araújo and Valter Vieira da Silva were reported to have been routinely beaten and forced to engage in obscene sexual acts, such as oral sex, to one another. Both apparently had bruises all over their body and they feared for their life. Ricardo Luiz Ribeiro was reportedly beaten with clubs and barrels. Josivaldo Celestino dos Santos was reportedly kicked during the night by prison staff and as a result he was said to have bruises on his arms and legs. Marcelo Carlos Estevão was reportedly beaten with iron bars and had his shoulders dislocated. Ivanildo Souza de Mota was reportedly beaten by police officers. Daniel Correia de Araújo and Luiz Carlos Alves were both believed to suffer from AIDS and were being held in the punishment cell. They allegedly received no medical attention. Álvaro de Oliveira Carneiro was reported to suffer from bouts of epilepsy without receiving medical attention.
231. By letter dated 17 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur reminded the Government of a number of cases transmitted to it in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001 regarding which no reply had been received.
232. On 12 July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on behalf of some 20 detainees in Urso Branco Prison, Porto Velho, Rondonia State, who reportedly were in danger of being killed by other inmates. Most of those in danger are reported to have been transferred from holding cells (seguro), which are used for inmates deemed to be at risk from others. On their arrival, two were reportedly attacked with boiling water by prisoners and guards. On 5 July, 34 more detainees were reportedly transferred from the central police station in the State capital, Porto Velho, to the holding cells. In the past the prison had not proved to be under control. 233. By letter dated 14 August 2002, the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that those crimes were being thoroughly investigated. The Government explained that there is currently no indication that State agents are involved in such killings. The information available indicates that some detainees were determined to kill other inmates. Several measures have been taken to reinforce security within the prison, such as control of the prison (on a temporary basis) by a police force comprising 55 members; the hiring of 45 new prison wardens; the construction of two new prisons in Rondonia; and the establishment of regular visits by the Public Prosecutor and the Brazil Bar Association to the prison in order to confiscate any weapons they might find and prevent possible situations of rebellion or threats against inmates.
234. The Special Rapporteur acknowledges the response of the Government (E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1, paras 179 to 239) to the recommendations formulated in his predecessor’s mission report (E/CN.4/2001/66/Add.2) and he would appreciate continuing to receive information on measures taken to implement the recommendations included in this report.
235. The Special Rapporteur notes with concern that no response has been provided to a number of cases brought to the attention of the Government since 1997 as well as to the numerous cases included in the annex of his predecessor’s mission report in 2001 (ibid.). He would appreciate continuing to receive information on measures taken to implement the recommendations included in this report.
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This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.