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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2000/9, 2 February 2000: Brazil

145. Rosana Lage Ligero and Marilu Josu Silva Barbosa, two women who had been living openly as a lesbian couple, were reportedly arrested in June 1996, after an alleged partial investigation, by the local police in Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Pernambuco. Although the police claimed to have a judicial order for the women’s arrest, such an order was only issued two days after the women had entered police custody. While in custody, the two women were allegedly beaten with a rubber whip and threatened with rape. They were also verbally abused for their lesbianism. The two police officers conducting the interrogation forced each woman to perform oral sex on them with the intention of showing them “what they were missing by not having sex with men”. They were transferred to several detention centres and eventually moved to a prison where they remained incarcerated for 11 months. The women agreed to being examined by the state’s Legal Medical Office, which corroborated the physical injuries they had sustained as a result of the police beatings. Following a public hearing in 1997, a judge ordered their release on a temporary basis. Despite the evidence of police misconduct, they have reportedly been awaiting a review of their case by the Supreme Court of Brazil for two years. They have insistently and unsuccessfully petitioned the Ministry of Justice for a full and impartial investigation into the wrongful charges, as well as into the police brutality and torture.[102]

151. Claudio Orlando dos Santos, an AIDS activist from southern Brazil and President of the Florianópolis Association for the Defence of Homosexual Rights in Santa Catarina, was allegedly beaten up and verbally harassed by Florianópolis military police officers on 24 May 1994. He was reportedly beaten while distributing condoms to the travestites in Capoeiras neighbourhood, Florianópolis, on behalf of the Santa Catarina health authority. He was first harassed by a police officer and called from a public telephone the Captain of the Military Police, the Coordinator of Centro de Operações da Policia Militar (COPOM), to report what had happened. It is then reported that the military police officers returned and beat and kicked him. After he lost consciousness, he was reportedly handcuffed and moved, in the boot of a military police vehicle, to the 8th Civil Police Precinct, where he was allegedly beaten again and insulted. A civil police officer who is said to have witnessed his ill-treatment, reportedly did nothing to prevent what was happening. The military police allegedly initially prevented him from making a formal complaint. However, he was reportedly later released and filed a complaint against the military police. At that time, he was already beginning to develop full-blown AIDS and was subsequently admitted to hospital with severe gastroenteritis, possibly brought on by being ill-treated by the police. He reportedly remained in hospital until his death on 3 November 1994. The police inquiry is said to have been closed because of lack of evidence and no one was ever charged.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SR Torture-2000-eng

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1.  Please note that this case is also mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2001/66/Add.2, March 30, 2001, para. 199.