Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | November 30, 2012
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Human rights council moves against extrajudicial killings

Human Rights Watch has praised a resolution by Brazil's Human Rights Defence Council outlining steps to reduce extrajudicial killings by police.

In a statement yesterday, the New York-based organisation says Brazilian police routinely "engage in unlawful violence, executing people and falsely claiming they died in shootouts". In a 2009 report, the organisation estimated some 11,000 people were killed by police in Rio and Sao Paulo from 2003-2009.

In its resolution Wednesday, Brazil's Human Rights Defense Council outlined steps to be taken in killings where police allege the victim resisted arrest. Those steps include promptly analysing the crime scene and collecting witnesses' statements.

The statement quotes Human Rights Watch's Americas director, Jose Vivanco, as calling the resolution "encouraging".

"Brazilian States could make real progress in reining in police abuse," he's quoted as saying.

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