Brazil Still Mistreating Its Delinquent Minors, Says OAS

A group of human rights organizations has released a report on the situation in 17 juvenile delinquent detention units (Fundação Estadual do Bem-Estar do Menor) (Febem), in Tatuapé in the state of São Paulo.

Representatives of the organizations inspected Febem units for the first time following hearings at the Organization of American States (OAS) Interamerican Human Rights Court on November 30 of last year.

At that time the OAS court recommended the implementation of eight measures immediately. The main thrust of the court recommendations was to ensure better treatment of Febem inmates and punishment for any abuses.

The human rights organizations report that Febem is not complying with the OAS court rulings. Beatriz Affonso, the head of the office of International Law and Justice Center (Cejil), says the most serious problem is that inmates are not receiving adequate medical care.

Affonso says they saw many sick inmates and two that had died. She declared that it was "unacceptable" that two deaths had occurred after the OAS court rulings.

In a note, spokespersons for the juvenile delinquent detention center (Fundação Estadual do Bem-Estar do Menor) (Febem) at Tatuapé in São Paulo responded to accusations by human rights groups that they have not been complying with recommendations made by the Organization of American States’ Interamerican Human Rights Court at hearings last November.

The case of the Tatuapé Febem was filed before the OAS court by human rights groups following a series of rebellions that resulted in injuries and even deaths among the inmates.

In its note, Febem says it is not true that inmates do not have adequate medical attention. The note points out that at the Tatuapé Febem complex there are three doctors, four psychiatrists, five nurses, 50 nurse assistants and eight dentists.

The note goes on to say that for two months, between November 22 and January 27, there were no serious problems at Tatuapé. "Unfortunately, on January 27, an inmate was killed in fighting between rival inmates," explains the note, adding that the administrators of the complex do not permit violence and when it occurs it is punished.

The Tatuapé Febem complex has a reputation for riots, rebellions, injuries, deaths and inmate escapes. It is supposed to be deactivated this year when smaller complexes, being built around the state of São Paulo, become available.

Agência Brasil

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