While assessing the recent outbreaks of violence that took place in several prison facilities throughout Brazil, Regional Representative for South America of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Amerigo Incalcaterra, said that the country needs to reformulate its criminal policy.
According to the US, the Brazilian policy is currently based on the act of “excessively depriving an individual of his/her liberty as a form of punishment for crimes”.
The reaction of the agency, whose representation for South America is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, takes place after a week in which eight inmates died under violence circumstances in prisons in the states of Paraná, Minas Gerais and Maranhão.
“We cannot tolerate that violence and deaths inside prisons in Brazil are seen as normal. Brazilian authorities should react with urgency in an attempt to build a jail system that is respectful towards human dignity and complies with both international agreements and the country’s obligations,” Incalcaterra said.
In his view, “overpopulation, inappropriate conditions, acts of torture and abuse against inmates are recurrent in several facilities in Brazil. They encourage violence even further and constitute a serious human rights violation.”
He urged Brazilian authorities to launch a “swift and impartial” investigation into the crimes committed in jails, and added that the implementation of training programs focused on human rights, for prison agents,” is urgent”.