|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
UN torture envoy starts Brazil probe
BRASILIA (Reuters) -- The U.N. special rapporteur on torture, Nigel Rodley, met Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso Tuesday at the start of an investigation into growing reports of abuses by Brazilian police.
"The president asked him to help Brazil combat torture with the experiences of other countries," Cardoso's spokesman told reporters, saying Rodley was in the country at the invitation of the government.
Rodley, speaking during a meeting with human rights activists in congress, said he visited those countries where the number of torture accusations suggested the practice was relatively common.
"That is what happened with Brazil," said Rodley, who is on his first visit to the country.
Cardoso's government, which has made strides in cleaning up Brazil's human rights record since coming to power in 1995, sent a special report to the United Nations at the beginning of the year on torture and other abuses in Brazil.
The government, which has acknowledged torture takes place in its prisons, has not released the report to the public.
Local media have reported that some 15,000 police officers have been accused of torture in Brazil but none has been sentenced. Brazil signed an anti-torture law three years ago.
"In the three years since the approval of the law, torture continues to be pretty usual," said Marcos Rolim, head of the permanent commission on human rights in Brazil's lower house of congress.
Rodley, who will spend at least a couple of weeks in Brazil, will travel through the interior in coming days visiting prisons and police stations.
"When I visit a prison I give advance warning, but when I go to a police station I give no warning, giving us more freedom," Rodley said. "We can't be denied access to these places, this is part of the deal for the visit."
Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
See related sites about Americas
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.