Rio de Janeiro Approves Law to Establish a Local Preventive Mechanism
On June 23, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (ALRJ), Brazil, approved a law to create a local organism to prevent and combat torture.
The text is expected to be signed into law by the Governor of Rio de Janeiro in the coming days, along with the adhesion of this influential state with grave human rights problems to a National Plan to Prevent and Combat Torture.
Rio de Janeiro is the second state in Brazil – following Alagoas – to adopt legislation creating a local structure against torture, comprised of a committee to define public policy and a mechanism to conduct visits to all places of detention as defined by OPCAT. Brazil, a federal state, ratified OPCAT in 2007 and draft legislation nationally foresees that each state can have a local structure. Civil society organizations in Rio de Janeiro and the President of the Human Rights Commission of the ALRJ were behind the drafting process of the local law. Its adoption follows sustained efforts by the APT to promote the OPCAT in Brazil, with funding from the European Commission, including hosting a recent visit by a member of the UN Subcommittee on Torture Prevention (SPT) to the country.