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Brazil

    April 18, 2018

    My sister in struggle Marielle Franco was shot to death on March 14.

    I was abroad, working alongside other brave women who campaign against police killings of black youth in Brazil, Jamaica and the U.S. We had joined forces and were planning to make our voices heard in order to stop the constant stream of killings committed by some of those who are supposed to protect us.

    The news hit me hard. I suddenly felt dizzy and could not stop shaking. I could barely contain my anger and my sadness.

    Click here to read the rest of the article at the Huffington Post. 
    March 15, 2018

    The targeted assassination of Marielle Franco, a 38-year-old human rights defender and city councilor known for denouncing police abuses and extrajudicial executions, is a sickening development that must be fully investigated, said Amnesty International today.

    Marielle was shot dead in Rio de Janeiro’s Estacio neighborhood on Wednesday night. Her driver was also killed and a press officer was injured in the attack.

    “This a chilling development and is yet another example of the dangers that human rights defenders face in Brazil. As a member of Rio de Janeiro’s State Human Rights Commission, Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalized communities,” said Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International’s Brazil director.

    “The Brazilian authorities must ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into this tragic killing. The State must protect witnesses and survivors, identify the motive for Marielle’s murder and bring the culprits to justice. The government cannot stand by and let human rights defenders be killed with impunity.”

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    August 11, 2017

    Ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August, Amnesty International Brazil’s Executive Director Jurema Werneck called on the country’s Congress to reject all constitutional amendments that might lower the age at which children can be tried as adults.

    Werneck said:

    “This year’s International Youth Day comes at a time when children’s rights in Brazil are in peril. Proposed changes to the constitution include legislation that will lower the age at which children can be tried as adults to below 18.

    “This would be in flagrant violation of international human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of a Child to which Brazil is a party.

    “Legislators must put the best interests of the child at the centre of this discussion. The prospect of children ending up in Brazilian adult prisons, which are severely overcrowded with terrible conditions, is horrifying. Treating children under the age of 18 as ‘adults’ would place them in vulnerable situations where their human rights would be further at risk.”

    July 31, 2017
      ·         Amnesty International launches new campaign to defend human rights in Brazil ·         Proposed changes would reduce legal protections for children, women, LGBTI individuals and Indigenous Peoples ·         ‘Human Rights Are Not For Sale’ campaign launches with public stunt outside National Congress on 31 July   Amnesty International today launches a new campaign to fight back against a raft of changes currently being discussed by Congress which could reduce legal protections for marginalized groups, impose a total ban on abortion, put an end to sex education, and ease gun licensing laws.   “Human rights are under critical attack in Brazil and in response Amnesty International is stepping up to the front line,” said Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International Brazil’s Executive Director.  
    May 04, 2017

    Authorities in Brazil are increasingly turning a blind eye to a deepening human rights crisis of their own making, Amnesty International said in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council ahead of a review of the country on 5 May.

    Since Brazil last faced scrutiny at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review in 2012, a spike in violence has seen killings by the police in Rio de Janeiro nearly doubled to 182 in the first two months of 2017, as well as soaring rates of killings and other human rights violations elsewhere in the country.

    “Since the last review at the United Nations, Brazil has not taken enough steps to tackle the shocking levels of human rights violations across the country, including soaring police homicide rates that leave hundreds of people dead every year,” said Jurema Werneck, Executive Director at Amnesty International Brazil.

    January 17, 2017

    Brazil’s chaotic prison system is facing crisis with more than 120 inmate deaths reported since 1 January 2017, Amnesty International said todayafter the confirmation of a further 26 killings inside Alcaçuz prision, Rio Grande do Norte state.

    More than 120 government prison inmates have been killed in the past 16 days during riots in the northern and northeastern states of Amazonas, Roraima and now, Rio Grande do Norte.

    "It is appalling that so many people have been killed in such a short amount of time while in government custody. The crisis that started with the killings in Amazonas State prison on 1st January is worsening and spreading throughout the country,” said Renata Neder, Human Rights Advisor at Amnesty International Brazil.

    “The authorities are playing a dangerous game in underestimating the depth of the emergency in the prison system; and are therefore failing to prevent further gruesome killings.”

    November 30, 2016

    An appalling decision by a Court in Brazil to archive the case of the killing of a 10-year-old boy during a military police operation in a favela in Rio de Janeiro risks letting security forces go unpunished, Amnesty International said.

    Eduardo de Jesus Ferreira, was shot in the head by military police officers during a police operation in Alemão complex, one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, on 2 April 2015.

    The police investigation concluded that police officers were responsible for the shot that killed Eduardo but the officers claimed they acted in self-defense and in response to a gunfight with armed criminals. However, Eduardo’s family, neighbours and witnesses reported that no confrontation or shooting was taking place at the time of the killing.

    The Public Prosecutor's Office can appeal the decision to archive the case.

    “If Eduardo’s tragic murder goes unpunished, it will send a message that it is ok for police to execute people,” said Renata Neder, Human Rights Advisor at Amnesty International Brazil.

    August 22, 2016

    The legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympics has been shattered with at least eight people killed in police operations in the city during the Games and peaceful protests heavily repressed, Amnesty International said.

    “Brazil has lost the most important medal at play during Rio 2016: the chance to become a champion on human rights,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director at Amnesty International Brazil.

    “The Brazilian authorities missed a golden opportunity to follow on their promises to implement public security policies to make Rio a safe city for all. The only way to undo some of many wrongs that took place during the Games is to ensure all killings and other human rights violations by the police are effectively investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice.”

    Rise in killings by police

    In 2016, police killings in Rio increased month on month as the city prepared to welcome the world.

    According to the Institute for Public Security of the State of Rio de Janeiro, police in the city killed 35 people in April 2016, 40 in May and 49 in June – an average of more than one every single day.

    August 05, 2016
    Tonight, when millions of people tune into the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, they’ll see a team march into the stadium with no nation and no flag.

    For the first time in the history of the Olympics, 10 refugees are competing without a national team. The unprecedented team is a reflection of the global refugee crisis, with more people displaced by violence and persecution than at any time since World War II. It’s also an opportunity to help shape how the public thinks of refugees – and how governments treat them.

    August 02, 2016

    A shocking 103% percent increase in police killings in Rio de Janeiro between April and June of 2016 and 2015 has shattered any chance of a positive legacy to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, said Amnesty International three days before the opening ceremony.

    According to the Institute for Public Security of the State of Rio de Janeiro, police in the city killed 49 people in June 2016, 40 in May and 35 in April – more than one every single day.

    Since 2009, when Rio won the bid to host the Olympic Games, police have killed more than 2,600 people in the city.

    July 27, 2016

    Forty body bags, representing the number of people killed by the police in May 2016 in Rio de Janeiro were displayed in front of the Local Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympics by Amnesty International’s activists in a peaceful protest.

    The activists also delivered a petition signed by 120,000 people from more than 15 countries demanding public security policies that respect human rights during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    July 05, 2016

    Amnesty International is launching a new app to document the use of firearms in Rio de Janeiro before the 2016 Olympic Games.

    Cross-fire will allow people living across Rio de Janeiro to report incidents of gun violence, which have been increasing over the last few years.

    “Brazil has one of the highest levels of homicides across the world, with around 42,000 people killed with guns every year. Those living in the most marginalized areas of the city are disproportionally affected by this crisis,” said Atila Roque, Brazil Director at Amnesty International.

    “The application is a tool to give more visibility to the tragic reality thousands of people across Rio de Janeiro have to live with every day and a way to urge the authorities to take some real steps to tackle this crisis.”

    July 05, 2016

    By Rebeca Lerer, Campaigner at Amnesty International Brazil

    Several promises and thousands of nice words fill the three volumes of the candidacy dossier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Since 2009, when the country won the Olympic bidding process, Brazilians have been living with high expectations for hosting the world’s largest mega-event.

    July 01, 2016

    A shocking increase of 135% in the number of people killed by police officers in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the run up to the Olympics lays bare the security services’ chilling disregard to the right of life, said Amnesty International today.

    According to the Instituto de Segurança Pública (ISP), in the city of Rio de Janeiro alone, 40 people were killed by police officers on duty in the month of May: an increase of 135% compared to 17 during the same period in 2015. Across the State as a whole, the numbers rose from 44 to 84, an increase of 90%.

    "The soaring death count ahead of this major sporting event represents an epic failure on the part of the authorities to protect the most fundamental human right–the right to life,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International's national office in Brazil.

    “It is completely unacceptable that these numbers are increasing despite all the warnings and complaints of Rio inhabitants of the excessive use of force by police. The authorities must act immediately to rein in the worst excesses of the security forces, stem the cycle of violence, and ensure the right to life is assured.”

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