Amnesty International slams Sao Paulo human rights record

Amnesty International slams Sao Paulo human rights record

PanARMENIAN.Net - Authorities in Brazil's Sao Paulo state are failing to provide security or justice for victims of human rights violations, Amnesty International says.

According to BBC News, it says reports of police involvement in revenge killings have not been investigated properly for "many years".

The claim comes amid a wave of violence in which more than 90 police officers have died this year. In October alone 571 civilians were killed.

A public security spokesman said the state always acted on police abuses.

"The state does not condone criminal police officers," he said, adding that Sao Paulo authorities rigorously enforced the law by arresting and expelling offenders in all sections of the police.

Amnesty's Brazil researcher Tim Cahill told BBC Brasil the state had been negligent in ensuring public security and guaranteeing justice for victims of violence committed by "agents of the state".

Attacks on the police should be condemned, but there was also a need for an independent body with sufficient power to investigate human rights violations, he said.

Since May this year there has been a growing conflict across Brazil's most populous state between the police and a criminal faction known as the PCC, or First Command of the Capital.

Analysts say attempts by the police to deal aggressively with the PCC provoked a violent backlash, with many officers killed, often while off duty.

In response, unidentified gunmen have been carrying out a wave of shootings in poor neighborhoods, amid claims that rogue policemen have taken the law into their own hands.

Amnesty says there must be an independent process of investigation and the creation of a national institute of human rights that is independent of the state and has the power to investigate police actions.

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