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Brazil court docket: Amnesty regulation doesn’t cowl torture – NEWPAPER24

Brazil court docket: Amnesty regulation doesn’t cowl torture

2019-08-15 12:58:03


Picture copyright Nationwide Fact Fee
Picture caption Antônio Waneir Pinheiro de Lima is accused of raping and torturing a political prisoner in 1971

A court docket in Brazil has dominated {that a} 1979 amnesty regulation which prevents navy officers from being prosecuted for crimes dedicated beneath navy rule doesn’t apply in circumstances of torture.

The court docket argued that torture and rape have been crimes in opposition to humanity and did due to this fact not fall beneath the amnesty.

It additionally ordered that an ex-soldier stand trial for rape.

Greater than 400 folks have been killed or disappeared throughout Brazil’s navy rule. Many others have been tortured.

Learn extra:

Watch: Brazil victims revisit torture cells

The ruling comes at a time when far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed nostalgia for the time when Brazil was beneath navy rule.

How did the ruling come about?

Prosecutors within the state of Rio have been investigating a former military sergeant, Antônio Waneir Pinheiro de Lima, over crimes he’s alleged to have dedicated at a torture centre within the 1970s, when Brazil was beneath navy rule.

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Media captionProof suggests British brokers taught psychological interrogation methods to officers working for Brazil’s regime within the 1970s.

They tried to open a legal case in opposition to Sgt Lima however a decide in Rio state argued that Mr Lima was protected by an amnesty regulation.

The regulation, which was handed by the navy regime in 1979 and upheld by Brazil’s Supreme Court docket in 2010, shields those that dedicated “political crimes” between September 1961 and August 1979 from prosecution.

The prosecutors appealed in opposition to the decide’s choice at a federal tribunal. On Wednesday, the judges on the federal tribunal voted two in opposition to one to open a legal case in opposition to Sgt Lima.

The judges accepted the argument made by the prosecutors that the crimes Mr Lima is accused of, together with rape and kidnapping, represent crimes in opposition to humanity and as such can’t be coated by the 1979 amnesty regulation.

Nevertheless, this choice may very well be overturned by the supreme court docket.

What’s Sgt Lima accused of?

Sgt Lima is suspected of kidnapping, torturing and raping a left-wing activist at a torture centre within the Brazilian metropolis of Petrópolis, north of Rio de Janeiro.

The lady, Inês Etienne Romeu, was the one individual to depart the centre, dubbed Home of Loss of life, alive.

The constructing was a clandestine jail used to cover and torture left-wing activists. No less than 22 political prisoners are thought to have been killed there.

Ms Romeu, who was arrested on suspicion of participating within the kidnapping of the Swiss ambassador Giovanni Enrico Bucher, was held there between Could and September 1971.

She mentioned that in her captivity she was subjected to bodily and psychological torture so extreme that she tried to kill herself on three events.

She additionally mentioned that she was raped twice by Sgt Lima who was one of many jailers on the “Home of Loss of life”.

Sgt Lima has mentioned that he was a “watchman” on the centre however has denied having any data of what went on inside the home.

He was arrested in 2014 as a part of an investigation into military-rule period crimes.

What grew to become of Inês Etienne Romeu?

Ms Romeu managed to get out of the clandestine centre alive by pretending to have been “turned” by her captors, agreeing to their demand that she spy on her fellow left-wing activists.

Picture copyright Nationwide Fact Fee
Picture caption Inês Etienne Romeu’s testimony was key to revealing what occurred on the Home of Loss of life

Her jailors instructed her that if she didn’t present them with the data they needed, they might arrest her sister.

When she was launched and brought to her sister’s residence, Ms Romeu solely weighed 32kg and was severely ailing.

Her household took her to hospital, understanding that she could be arrested and formally charged however rightly assumed that she could be safer in a state jail than if her navy captors took her again to a clandestine torture centre.

She was launched in 1979 beneath the identical amnesty regulation which has been shielding Sgt Lima. Upon her launch, she gave invaluable details about the Home of Loss of life and those that labored there.

It was due to the small print she had memorised that the clandestine torture centre was situated and that a health care provider who collaborated with the torturers was recognized.

In 2003, Ms Romeu was attacked by a person she had employed to do some carpentry work in her residence.

Her household suspected that the person, who severely beat her over the top, was solely posing as a carpenter and had been employed to silence Ms Romeu by individuals who didn’t need her to disclose extra details about the Home of Loss of life.

Whereas Ms Romeu survived the assault she suffered neurological issues till she died in her sleep in 2015 aged 72.

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