UN human rights experts on Tuesday urged Brazil to comply with its international legal obligations to curtail torture.
The UN experts expressed concern regarding São Paulo Governor João Doria’s veto of anti-torture legislation in January. São Paulo law N° 1257 would have established a State Committee for Preventing and Combating Torture and also included several controversial provisions regulating police activities. Doria explained that he believed these regulations to be unconstitutional as currently drafted.
Brazil is one of 88 countries that ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. All ratifying nations assumed a legal obligation to establish National Prevention Mechanisms for reducing torture and human rights abuses.
The vetoed legislation complied with a national law that relies on the creation of network of state-operated anti-torture mechanisms. The UN statement notes that Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Roraima and the Federal District have all approved similar legislation.