Sunday, October 08, 2006

Brazil: FEBEM convictions should trigger wide reform


AI Index: AMR 19/033/2006 (Public)
News Service No: 259
5 October 2006

Brazil: FEBEM convictions should trigger wide reform
Amnesty International today said the convictions against 14 FEBEM (Fundação Estadual do Bem-Estar do Menor) employees and ex-employees for their involvement in acts of torture in the detention centre are a step in the right direction and it should trigger deep reforms to the juvenile detention system in Brazil.

In particular, Amnesty International urged Sao Paulo's State authorities to:
Ensure the full independence of bodies responsible for the documentation and investigation of cases of torture -- such as the Medical Legal Institute (Insituto Medical Legal).
Comply with measures stipulated in the Statute for Children and Adolescents (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente, ECA) – including ensuring the physical integrity of all detainees in the FEBEM’s care.
Provide police and prison guards with adequate resources and training to enable them to carry out their work without resorting to human rights violations, including torture.
Thoroughly investigate all remaining accusations of torture in juvenile detention centres and bring to justice those involved under Brazil’s Torture Law.

The 14 men were convicted yesterday under the Torture Law. The convictions came for their involvement in acts of torture, including beatings with wooden sticks and metal bars, perpetrated against 35 detainees in November 2000 in the Raposo Tavares complex.

Two high ranking officials were sentenced to 87 years, ten guards to 74 years and 8 months and two of the prison directors received 2 years and 2 months for negligence.

“These convictions tackle not only incidents of torture, but, significantly, the key issue of chain-of-command responsibility,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s campaigner on Brazil.

“It is now essential that Sao Paulo's state authorities take all necessary steps to advance long-overdue reforms,” said Patrick Wilcken.

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: http://www.amnesty.org

For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Theological Conversation with Miroslav Volf

Yes, good conversations. I subscribed to the "Emergent Podcasts" from the emergentvillage.com. There are some interesting stuff there. Driving through Rockliffe I listened to one of the conversations with Miroslav Volf. As we say in Portuguese, "que viagem!" ("what a trip!" or something like "the guy is out-to-lunch!") It was interesting to hear his comments about atheists proximity to God and comment on an imaginary church of atheists with a beliving pastor. The other funny part is his story about his 'spiritual director' (whatever that means) that gave up on him. And his 'spiritual excercises' listening to 'God speak with an Irish accent on his Treo'.
The other interesting part was to think about what would or will be the Brazilian Emerging Church (igreja emergente no Brasil). The reality of christianity in Brazil is very different from that of the US and even Europe. Whereas in the North they are worried about conservative/liberal-related dilemas, in Brazil the context is very different. Why would a Brazilian christian worry about issues on gender, homossexuality, theology of attonement, etc with the terrible levels of violence and the social disparity in Brazil?