UN urges Brazil to reinforce national torture preventive mechanism

Friday, March 11, 2022

The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture has issued astrong statement calling on Brazil to take immediate action to comply with its international obligations and drop its decision to dismantle the country’s national torture prevention mechanism.

The statement came at the conclusion of the SPT’s visit to the country in early February. 

Suzanne Jabbour, SPT Chairperson and head of the three-member delegation, remarked that “Brazil’s preventive mechanisms are facing critical challenges. Despite the lack of resources and support, they are doing a remarkable job.”

She called on Brazil to “consolidate its resources and efforts to combat torture”. 

Sylvia Dias, APT’s Senior Legal Adviser and National Representative in Brazil, said it was crucial that the SPT had met with high-level representatives from the nation’s judicial, executive and legislative branches of government.

We hope the authorities will act with urgency on the SPT's loud and clear call to overturn the Presidential Decree that dismantled the national preventive mechanism and abide by its international obligations

Sylvia Dias, APT’s Senior Legal Adviser and National Representative in Brazil

During the visit to the capital, Brasilia, the SPT delegation met with the Minister for Women, Family and Human Rights, various Members of Parliament, including with the Chairpersons of the Human Rights Commissions of both chambers, the Supreme Federal Court, the Federal Prosecutor General and his Deputy in charge of the Rights of Citizens, among others.

The delegation also held meetings with representatives of the national preventive mechanism (Mecanismo Nacional de Prevenção e Combate à Tortura – MNPCT), its counterparts at state level in the four states where they exist, and with civil society organisations working to prevent torture.

“All the senior authorities we met with agreed that an independent and well-functioning preventive mechanism is absolutely essential, both at the federal and state level,” Ms Jabbour said.