Brazil: The House votes on a Draft Law to create mechanisms for the prevention of torture

A measure voted under an emergency regime will be innocuous if it does not guarantee the independence of experts.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

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Author: Conectas Derechos Humanos..

Canal: Conectas.

Type of documents: News.

Language: Portuguesa.

Theme: Human rights.

Keywords: State, Justice, Civil society, Torture.

Countries and regions: Brazil.

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Conectas expects that the text of the Draft Law 2.442,/2011 creating the Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture in Brazil will be adopted with the required amendments so as to guarantee the independence of experts. It also hopes that changes will not be incorporated, which might transform the document in an innocuous mechanism, as those compelling experts to provide previous information announcing the visit to one State.

In the draft document by the Executive, the Presidency of the Republic designates 23 members of the National Committee for the Prevention of Torture which later one will select eleven experts to visit prisons all over the country. Conectas is in favor of the approval of an additional amendment allowing the participation of the society in a previous consultation to the presentation of the names to the Committee and the election through a public selective process of these eleven experts based on their knowledge and experience in the prevention and combat of torture.

“It is fundamental for the deputies to guarantee the autonomy of the mechanism in the definition, of at least, a share of the members of the Committee to be chosen through a public hearing” , stated Rafael Custódio, Coordinator of the Program of Justice of Conectas.

According to the United Nations, the practice of torture is systematic in Brazil and its prohibition in the practice is not taken into consideration. Also in a report published on the early part of 2012, after a visit to Brazil, the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture has been firm regarding the need for the Draft Law nº 2.442/2011 to guarantee an open, transparent and inclusive process – especially regarding the civil society. Brazil has taken the obligation of creating the mechanism upon the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT, 2002). Thus, this mechanism would have to be set into functioning in 2008.

If the House so does adopts, the Draft Law will continue to the Senate prior to be presented to the sanctioning or veto by the Presidency of the Republic.

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