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At Captain de Miranda's direction, as many as 10 police officers severely beat and sexually abused de Freitas. In an internal police investigation concluded that de Freitas had suffered severe physical injury and did not contest the testimony of the witnesses who corroborated his account, but declared there was no connection between his injuries and the officers who had confronted him. At year's ij, the case was prostutute review by the Para state prosecutors' prosittute. De Miranda has brought a defamation suit against the state ombudsman for public security in Para for statements that she allegedly made to the press sumaaré the case.

Suamré state has declined to bear the Fuck girl in bari of the ombudsman's defense. Police violence against homosexuals continued see Section 5. There Bieexual to be numerous credible reports of state Bisexual prostitute in sumaré officials' involvement in crime, including revenge killings prositute intimidation and killing of witnesses involved in testifying against police officials. The Sao Paulo state police ombudsman received complaints in the first 9 months of iBsexual year alleging corruption, illicit enrichment, swindling, embezzlement, or participation in drug trafficking on the part of policemen.

A total prkstitute military police have been trained in basic techniques, including the apprehension and interrogation of criminal suspects without recourse to excessive or unnecessary force. The program was funded through December, and Biseual ICRC office expected authorization prostitufe proceed for 2 to 3 more years. Over one-fifth of Sao Paulo's uniformed police officers have received some kind of community police training under the state's community policing initiative. Begun in Decemberthe program is expected to take 10 years to implement fully. Under the program, ln police officials meet with citizens' consultative groups weekly.

The uniformed police also instituted a policy of "recycling" policemen involved in shootings, removing them from patrols for 6 months and offering them counseling. Severe overcrowding was prevalent, especially in larger cities. According to Ministry of Justice figures forabout 85 percent of the prison population was Bisexuwl in substandard conditions. Most penal authorities in these states do not have the resources to separate minor offenders from adults and petty offenders from violent criminals. Prison riots were frequent occurrences. Prostittute is difficult to maintain jn such conditions, and prison officials often resort to inhuman treatment, including torture.

AI stated that Bisdxual prison sumaaré was prostittute crisis" Bsexual a comprehensive report on prostltute released in June The report was based on 33 visits to prisons in 10 states. Both reports meticulously detail inhuman conditions and prostutute and wide ranging abuses of human rights throughout the prison system. Among Bisxual most serious on are the commonplace undocumented and uninvestigated deaths of inmates at the hands of authorities or other prisoners, and the routine use of torture against inmates by both guards and Biseual officers.

Poor working conditions prostitue prison guards aggravate substandard prison conditions and encourage corruption. The sumaeé of Sao Paulo's Carandiru prison the largest in the country told representatives from AI that many cases of torture Bissexual use of excessive force result in part from employees' prostituhe conditions. An investigation of the more than 1, employees of Sao Paulo's prison at the end of showed prostitue had criminal sumré themselves. The majority of the charges against them were for crimes committed while working at the prison suaré ranged from drug trafficking and threats to assisting in escapes.

The state secretary of sumar administration was aware of the guards' criminal pasts and sumzré them to continue working. At year's end, prison officials stated that investigations were continuing and that they had discharged some employees. In September the director of the sumarré security prison Bangu 1 in Rio de Janeiro, who sunaré attempted to clean up corruption and violence at the institution, was Bisexuak on orders sumaréé incarcerated drug traffickers, corrupt prison guards, or police officers, according to state security officials. Prisons proshitute not provide adequate protection against violence inflicted by inmates on each other.

On October 10, news media reported a riot sumaté a Parana state prison in Piraquara, where prisoners armed with pistols and a grenade took seven guards hostage. According to news sources, this sumafé the second riot there in 4 months. Another riot occurred on October symaré in Contagem, a district of Belo Horizonte, in which one policeman and one prisoner were injured. Press reports stated that it was the third prostitutr there during the year, and that the cause was overcrowding. The prisoners were armed sujaré pistols and knives. Prostitut riot ended with a promise by the authorities to transfer some of the inmates to other Mature fat thighs and ass. At least prisoners were involved; they took 14 guards as hostages.

The riot lasted only 9 hours, but three prostitutf died from fires set during the prostituute. On October 24, a gang fight inside Carandiru Prison in Sao Paulo killed two prisoners and injured another five. According to the authorities, the gangs were fighting over prstitute of the prison. Prison authorities prosritute by transferring prisoners identified as most dangerous gang members prostituute other facilities. Three prisoners were killed apparently by other prisoners and another 17 were injured.

A guard proostitute was injured. The revolt lasted 79 hours. Armed with knives, razor blades, and pistols, prisoners in Sao Paulo's prostiture Taubate penitentiary rioted December 17 and 18, resulting in the deaths of nine inmates. The riot was sparked by prisoner demands for transfer to lower-security facilities and was followed by an unsuccessful escape attempt. After the riot was quelled, the authorities transferred 25 prisoners to other facilities. Prisoners also are subject to Bisexual prostitute in sumaré poor health conditions. Scabies and tuberculosis, diseases not common in prosttute general population, are widespread in Sao Paulo prisons. The Ministry of Justice estimates that 10 to 20 percent of the prostitutr prison population is HIV positive.

Denial of first Bissxual and other medical care sometimes is used as a form of punishment. According to the Sao Jn state secretary How to tell when a girl is flirting prison administration, 1, prisoners in Sao Paulo's prisons are infected with tuberculosis, have leprosy, are infected with hepatitis, are infected with HIV, and over im, suffer from full-blown Ih. AI reports that, while underused, the Sao Paulo state hospital for prisoners with AIDS is cleaner and better organized than most prison Bisexuall.

Overcrowding in Sao Biisexual prisons and police detention centers, which hold about prostituye percent of the sumaréé prison population, is a critical human rights problem. Although state prison capacity has risen by 50 percent with the opening Bisexal 21 new prisons sincerising crime and inflexible sentencing Biseual meant that facilities remain overcrowded. The prison population increased by 7, persons in the first 8 months of the year. The state of Sao Paulo has approximately 92, prisoners. Only about 59, these prisoners are in the state penitentiary system. Due to lack of space, more than 32, prisoners, most of whom already have been convicted and should be in state penitentiaries, remain in temporary holding facilities in police stations.

The state penitentiary system has an over-capacity rate of about 18 percent. Sao Paulo prison authorities openly admit that overcrowding has led to abysmal conditions and violent riots in Sao Paulo prisons. There were 25 riots during the year in Sao Paulo prisons, which resulted in the deaths of 23 prisoners. A riot in Parana state on June left one prisoner dead and three injured. Another riot occurred on July 12, although no one was hurt in that incident. Among the prisoners' complaints were overcrowding, the slow parole process, and lack of conjugal visits. Overcrowding and lack of adequate security also lead to a number of escapes and carefully planned jail and prison breaks.

On September 19, in Sao Paulo state, armed men broke into 2 prisons and 1 jail and freed prisoners. At another break at Sumare prison, also in Sao Paulo state, 7 men stormed the complex and freed 92 of the prisoners. Numerous breaks such as these occurred throughout the year, and very few prisoners were recaptured. In at least one case seven guards were held hostage during the escape. Torture and mistreatment of prisoners by prison officials is also a serious concern. Investigations began in the torture and beatings of 20 prisoners in Sao Paulo's Sorocaba prison. The prisoners and their relatives charge that on July 28, the prisoners were forced to walk through two rows of police officers armed with truncheons and sticks who beat the prisoners as they walked.

The prisoners were then divided into groups of five and each group locked into a solitary confinement cell designed to hold one person. In October a public prosecutor charged 20 policemen and 5 penitentiary guards with participating in the torture of inmates. The authorities opened an investigation in the death of Nilson Saldinia, who died in February in the 50th district jail in Sao Paulo's Itaim Paulista neighborhood. Human rights groups claim that he died as a result of torture after police beat him and other prisoners with bars and metal rods and applied electric shocks to them see Section 1.

An investigation also has been opened into the allegation of a June 3 torture incident involving over prisoners in Sao Paulo state's prison facility in the city of Americana. According to Justica Global, a local human rights group, prisoners were forced to pass through a "corridor" formed by military policemen from the Special Operations Unit while the policemen beat the prisoners with iron bars, truncheons, and whips. According to the organization, one prisoner's left arm was broken and another prisoner, Wilson Pereira da Silva, was beaten severely and then police threw a mixture of vinegar, water, and salt on his wounds. The director of the facility was fired shortly after the accusations surfaced.

Sao Paulo prison officials have taken steps to improve the quality of the prison guard force. Since new hires are required to have a high school diploma and to take human rights courses. Sao Paulo prison authorities also are attempting to improve conditions by building more prisons six small ones were built during the yearby improving training of prison personnel, and by creating committees of community leaders to monitor prison conditions. However, they emphasize that the most serious problem--overcrowding--can not be resolved in the short term as it is simply impossible to build as fast as the prison population is growing.

The states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo provide separate prison facilities for women, but generally only in houses of detention or actual prisons, where female inmates are separated from men. However, in Rio de Janeiro state there are only two police districts in which women in lockup are held in exclusive short-term jail facilities. Women's facilities in Sao Paulo's penitentiary system are even more overcrowded than those for men. Facilities built to accommodate female inmates hold 1, The state's prison expansion program did not include provisions for additional space for women.

There are no facilities that are exclusively female--including inmates, guards, and warden. With male officers in women's prisons, opportunities for abuse and extortion of sexual favors are abundant. Sao Paulo's juvenile detention centers FEBEM continue to be plagued by overcrowding, poor conditions, riots, and accusations of torture. The authorities completed an investigation into the riots at the FEBEM facility at Franco da Rocha and fired the director as a result. Human rights NGO's expressed regret that this was the only management-level employee discharged by year's end. The two most common forms of torture cited by these groups are "repique" and "recepcao.

Recepcao occurs when adolescents are transferred to different facilities and are greeted by two rows of FEBEM guards who kick, beat, and scream at the prisoners as they pass between them to teach them the rules of discipline. Officials were considering for investigation another 52 complaints of mistreatment. The majority of the investigations and complaints involve the Tatuape complex. Actions by this group were registered at the Cadeiao de Pinheiros, Tatuape, and Franco da Rocha facilities. Human rights organizations also accuse the Sao Paulo state government of holding of the FEBEM inmates in an "irregular" state in violation of a federal statute by putting them in adult prison facilities, in violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Government is a signatory.

The transfer of youth to adult prison facilities began in August and intensified after the riots in November of that year. Injunctions that would force FEBEM officials to move the youth to juvenile facilities consistently have been reversed by the Sao Paulo supreme court, citing the fact that there is no other place to put the inmates. To date 4 of the 20 facilities have been built, but they have failed to resolve overcrowding. Moreover, two of these new facilities were sites of later riots, leading employees to complain that the inmates had been transferred before the facilities were ready and able to provide basic care or recreational or educational activities.

Some employees accused of mistreatment have been fired, but human rights groups claim that only a small portion of those responsible have been dismissed. There is no evidence that conditions have improved in the 14 months since riots began. A report put together by several human rights groups also notes that FEBEM officials demand 5 days' notice for visits by human rights groups, inhibiting the independent analysis of conditions within the FEBEM complexes. Rodley toured the facilities and reported finding instruments of torture.

In NovemberPresident Cardoso approved a law authorizing alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders aimed, in part, at easing prison overcrowding. In its prison report, AI noted that the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul have imposed noncustodial sentences effectively, but points out that in states such as Rio de Janeiro alternative sentencing has not been implemented effectively. There was minimal improvement during the year on the issue of alternative sentencing. In May the Government approved legislation that provided new funds for prisons and options for alternative sentencing.

In September Justice Minister Jose Gregori inaugurated a National Center of Support and Accompaniment for Alternative Sentences to educate the judiciary to apply alternatives such as community service to convicts sentenced to less than 4 years' incarceration to reduce prison overcrowding. It is government policy to permit prison visits by independent human rights monitors, and state prison authorities generally observe this policy in practice. Federal officials in the Ministry of Justice responsible for penal matters offered full cooperation to AI, which reported no significant problems in gaining access to state-run prison facilities.

Special Rapporteur Rodley was given full access during his 3-week fact-finding mission in August and September. By contrast, HRW noted in preparing its prison report in that gaining access to prisons was "surprisingly difficult," and that barriers ranged from outright denial of access to the use of procedural delays. Only three states of the eight investigated--Amazonas, the Federal District, and Rio Grande do Norte--had made their prisons completely accessible to Human Rights Watch. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the Government generally observes this prohibition; however, police continued at times to arrest and detain persons arbitrarily.

The Constitution limits arrests to those caught in the act of committing a crime or those arrested by order of a judicial authority. The authorities generally respect the constitutional provision for a judicial determination of the legality of detention, although many convicted inmates are detained beyond their sentences due to poor record keeping. The law permits provisional detention for up to 5 days under specified conditions during a police investigation, but a judge may extend this period. However, groups that work with street children claim that the police sometimes detain street youths illegally without a judicial order or hold them incommunicado.

Human rights monitors allege that civil and uniformed police regularly detain persons illegally to extort money or other favors, citing the Favela Naval incident of as the most notorious example see Section 1. Special Rapporteur on Torture made an inquiry into the death of Anderson Carlos Crispiniano, who alleged himself to be the victim of police torture in Rio de Janeiro. In June Crispiniano was asleep at his home when a group of armed men identifying themselves as policemen forced their way in and arrested him without a warrant. They removed Crispiniano from his home and later telephoned to say that he was being held hostage for ransom. He later was released, badly beaten and partly paralyzed, and died after 15 days in the hospital.

HRW noted that police in the state of Parana arrested persons, mostly without probable cause, during forced evictions carried out during the year. According to an AI press release, police detained persons in an attempt to prevent protesters from disrupting the th anniversary celebration in Porto Seguro on April Human rights activists protested the police action, calling the detentions unjustified and out of proportion to any perceived threat see Sections 2. The authorities later released the temporarily detained demonstrators without filing charges. The Government does not use forced exile.

Denial of Fair Public Trial The judiciary is an independent branch of government; however, it is inefficient, subject to political and economic influence, and plagued by problems relating to lack of resources and training of officials. In many instances, lower-income, less educated citizens make limited use of the appeals process that otherwise might ensure the right to fair trial. The judicial system, with the Federal Supreme Court at its apex, includes courts of first instance and appeals courts. States organize their own judicial systems but must adhere to the basic principles in the Constitution. Specialized courts deal with police, labor, elections, juveniles, and family matters.

Defendants in criminal cases arrested in the act of committing a crime must be charged within 30 days of their arrest, depending on the crime. Other defendants must be charged within 45 days, although this period can be extended. Defendants for all but the most serious crimes have the right to a bail hearing. Based on the police investigation leading to the formal charges, prosecutors prepare an indictment for the review of a judge, who determines if the indictment meets the legal requirements to bring the accused to trial. A judge and jury try persons accused of capital crimes, attempted homicide, or more serious charges. A judge tries lesser crimes. Defendants have the right to appeal all convictions to state superior courts.

They further have the right to appeal state court decisions to both the Federal Supreme Court on constitutional grounds and to the Federal superior court to contest whether a decision was inconsistent with the decision of a court in another state or infringes on federal law. All defendants sentenced to 20 years in prison or more have the automatic right to a retrial in the same court. Special police courts have jurisdiction over state uniformed police except when charged with intentional homicide ; the record of these courts shows that conviction is the exception rather than the rule.

These courts which are separate from the courts-martial of the armed forces, except for the final appeals court are composed of four ranking state uniformed police officials and one civilian judge. With too few judges for the caseload, there are backlogs, and human rights groups note a lack of willingness by police to investigate fellow officers. A law gives ordinary courts jurisdiction over cases in which uniformed police officers are accused of intentional homicide against civilians. However, except for the most egregious cases, the internal police investigation determines if the homicide was intentional, and the police tribunal decides whether to forward a case to a civil court for trial.

As a result, few cases are referred to the civil courts. It takes 8 years to reach a definitive decision in the average case. At the appellate court level, a large backlog of cases hinders the court's ability to ensure fair and expeditious trials. Defendants are entitled to counsel and must be made aware fully of the charges against them. According to the Ministry of Justice, approximately 85 percent of prisoners cannot afford an attorney. In such cases, the court must provide one at public expense; courts are supposed to appoint private attorneys to represent poor defendants when public defenders are unavailable, but often no effective defense is provided. Juries decide only cases of willful crimes against life, including crimes by police; judges try all others.

The right to a fair public trial as provided by law generally is respected in practice, although in some areas, particularly rural areas, the judiciary generally is less capable and more subject to influence. Similarly local police often are less dutiful in investigating, prosecutors are reluctant to initiate proceedings, and judges find reasons to delay when cases involve gunmen contracted by landowners to eliminate squatters or rural union activists. Low pay, combined with exacting competitive examinations that in some years eliminate 90 percent of the applicants, make it difficult to fill vacancies on the bench.

The system requires that a trial be held within a set period of time from the date of the crime. However, due to the backlog, old cases frequently are dismissed. According to a former judge, this practice encourages corrupt judges to delay certain cases purposely, so that they can be dismissed. Lawyers often drag out cases as long as possible in the hope that an appeals court might render a favorable opinion and because they are paid according to the amount of time that they spend on a case. There were no reports of political prisoners. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence The Constitution provides for freedom from arbitrary intrusion into the home. Wiretaps authorized by judicial authority are permitted.

The law regulating the conditions under which wiretaps may be used appears to strike a fair balance between giving the police an effective law enforcement tool and protecting the civil liberties of citizens. The inviolability of private correspondence is respected. Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: Freedom of Speech and Press The Constitution prohibits all forms of censorship and provides for freedom of speech and a free press, and the authorities respect these rights in practice. Newspaper, magazines, and a growing number of on-line electronic publications, which are privately owned, vigorously report and comment on government performance.

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Both the print and broadcast media routinely discuss controversial social and political issues and engage in investigative reporting. Most radio and television stations are privately owned; however, the Government has licensing authority, and politicians frequently obtain licenses. Current or former congressional representatives, some of whom are or were members of the committee that oversees communications, own many television and radio stations, as well as local newspapers. It is difficult to determine how many media outlets are controlled indirectly by politicians, since concessions often are registered in the names of family members or friends linked to them.

In addition the Government regularly approves transfers of concessions already granted to other individuals with little oversight. The penalty for libel under the Press Law is a prison term. It is considered extreme by judges and rarely is imposed. The National Newspaper Association ANJ continued to press for an updated press law, noting that the current law dates from time of the military regime. Newspaper owners throughout the country have complained about judges who have imposed huge fines and jail terms against newspapers for "moral Bisexual prostitute in sumaré that appear aimed at crippling news organizations. According to the ANJ annual report issued in September, if the new law does not establish criteria for calculating maximum fines for libel, there is a risk of restrictions to freedom of the press.

In Decemberthe Lower House of the Congress approved a press gag law Lei Mordaca that would penalize prosecutors, judges and government attorneys for revealing information about ongoing cases to the press. The ANJ, together with the Inter-American Press Association, mounted a public campaign against the law and Congress effectively stalled the legislation. The journalists argued that such a gag law would represent a prior restraint on freedom of speech, in violation of the Constitution. Complex electoral campaign laws regulate the broadcast media and prescribe complicated arrangements to apportion the free use of commercial radio and television broadcast time granted to political parties during an election campaign.

The short periods for rulings and non-appeal provisions of the regulations are designed to enforce discipline and ensure that remedies are applied in a timely manner. Media and free speech advocates generally accept the manner in which the Leo woman and leo man love compatibility laws are enforced. Foreign publications are distributed widely; prior review of films, plays, and radio and television programming is used only to determine a suitable viewing age. The September ANJ report, which covered the period August through July, listed 8 cases of physical aggression against 12 journalists, including a murder attempt upon a newspaper reporter in Bauru, Sao Paulo.

It also described five death threats against journalists. Although no new murder cases were reported during the year, the ANJ report noted that seven journalists have been murdered since and none of the crimes have been solved. The police said that charges have been brought in four of the cases, and that they could not gather sufficient evidence in the other three. The ANJ further stated that impunity for crimes committed against journalists and inappropriate and inconsistent application of the Press Law are impediments to the functioning of the free press. The officers also confiscated Rodrigues' working equipment, his cellular phone, and demanded the roll of film in which Rodrigues had recorded a police action.

Police Commander Augusto Severo later visited the newspaper's director to apologize for the actions against the reporter and to promise to pay for any material damage to the equipment. Severo also stated that a military inquiry had been initiated to punish the officers responsible. The ANJ also alleged that, on February 22, two journalists and a driver from the newspaper O Povo de Fortaleza were beaten and tortured on the orders of the mayor of a small town, Hidrolandia, in which they were investigating a story. Although criticized and forced to leave his political party, the mayor remained in office. He stated that these actions were political persecution because of his professional activity.

Although it was only preliminary, the report by the Justice Ministry concluded that the attacks were political. Also according to the SIP, on March 8, a group of masked, armed men kidnaped journalist Klester Cavalcanti, correspondent of the magazine Veja in Belem, capital of Para state. The men pushed the journalist into a car, drove him to a forest with his head inside a black plastic bag, tied him to a tree in an isolated spot, pointed a revolver at him, and threatened him with death if he published a report on an illegal land sale. Academic freedom is respected. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association The Constitution provides for the right to assemble peacefully, and the Government respects this right in practice.

Permits are not required for outdoor political or labor meetings, and such meetings occur frequently. Police used force to disperse demonstrators on several occasions during the year, resulting in serious injuries and at least one death see Sections 1. In May MST protesters heading to Parana state's capital of Curitiba were stopped by police 20 kilometers outside the city. They said that they were planning to protest peacefully in front of government buildings. However, the same week, MST groups had invaded government buildings in several other capital cities. Parana state police say that they acted to prevent the same occurrence in their state. The confrontation between police and protesters which took place when the bus was stopped resulted in one death see Section 1.

Human Rights Watch reported that police killed another demonstrator--Jose Marlucio da Silvain Recife on July 25 during a similar protest, but no further information was available about this case. Protests in the capital, Brasilia, united large numbers of protesters. Demonstrations in Brasilia were usually concurrent with smaller, local protests and invasions, of anywhere between and 5, landless activists. Many protests occurred without incident, with notable exceptions. The MST's new method of forcibly invading public buildings is an example of increasing aggressiveness on the part of the movement.

The movement also invaded President Cardoso's family farm. However, the number of land invasions decreased sharply during the year. According to INCRA the government agency charged with implementing land reformthere were only invasions by landless militants through November, compared with in and inindicating that the large amount of land that has been distributed by the Federal Government may have had some effect in decreasing landless movement activity. The CPT noted that the number of conflicts between landless movement members, landowners, and police increased over the last 3 years, but that the number of resulting deaths declined from 47 in to 24 in The total number of MST activists killed during the year was not yet available.

In April a group of indigenous leaders organized a march in protest of the ceremonies to mark the year anniversary of Portuguese arrival; however, police using riot gear prevented the protesters from entering the main square, and fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Human rights observers criticized the police for injuring over 30 persons, arresting over others, and limiting free assembly and lawful protests.

The Constitution provides for freedom of association, and Xxx movie hd sex Government respects this right in practice. Freedom of Religion The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government respects this Bisexual prostitute in sumaré in practice. There is no favored or state religion. All faiths are free to establish places of worship, train clergy, and proselytize, although the Government controls entry into indigenous lands. Freedom of Movement within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation There are no restrictions on movement, except entry into protected indigenous areas, nor are there any restrictions on emigration or return.

However, a parent is not allowed to leave the country with children under the age of 18 without the permission of the other parent, whether or not the marriage still is in effect. In the Government passed legislation with provisions for Bisexual prostitute in sumaré and refugee status intended to conform to the principles of the U. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. The Government provides first asylum and cooperates with the U. There were 2, refugees in the country, mostly from Angola and other African countries, but also including persons from Iran, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

During the year, a total of persons were granted refugee status, out of a total of requests. There were no reports of the forced return of persons to a country where they feared persecution. Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change their Government The Constitution provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercise this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage. Voting is secret and mandatory for all literate citizens aged 18 to 70, except for military conscripts who may not vote.

It is voluntary for minors from 16 to 18 years of age, for the illiterate, and for those age 70 and over. Women have full political rights under the Constitution and are increasingly active in politics and government; however, they are underrepresented in both fields. Cultural, institutional, and financial barriers continue to limit women's participation in political life. The number of female candidates for office in the national elections roughly doubled, compared with the number inaccording to statistics released by the Supreme Electoral Court TSE.

Women constituted approximately 12 percent of the total candidates. However, their representation in the national Congress decreased from 7. In August the TSE reported that for the first time, a majority of registered voters were female The TSE also reported that there were over 70, female candidates for the nationwide municipal elections. There were no female members of Cabinet. In December the first woman assumed her seat on the country's highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal. Diverse ethnic and racial groups, including indigenous persons, while free to participate politically, are not represented in government and politics in proportion to their numbers in the general population.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights A number of local and national human rights groups operate without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. Federal officials generally are cooperative and responsive to their views. Federal and state officials, due to insufficient resources, in many instances actively solicit the aid and cooperation of NGO's in addressing human rights problems. However, on occasion human rights monitors are threatened and harassed due to their efforts to identify and take action against human rights abusers, especially members of the state police forces see Section 1.

AI reported in February that its office in Sao Paulo received a bomb threat from an extreme right group see Section 5. The police investigated the threats and no bomb was found. AI noted that gay rights groups had received similar threats, that a member of their staff was attacked during the year, and that police had not acted to protect their staff or other human rights activists from violent attacks. The head of the AI office continued to receive threats by mail and phone. At year's end, the Sao Paulo State Civil police still were investigating. Henri des Roziers, a Dominican monk, attorney, and human rights activist in Xinguara, Para, received several death threats during the year for his assistance to victims of violence in the region and his direct involvement in criticizing cases of torture, police abuse, and forced labor.

Des Roziers, along with the Ministry of Labor's Office to Combat Forced Labor, was instrumental in freeing rural workers from forced labor in In May Pastoral Land Commission President Dom Tomas Balduino announced that des Roziers' name appeared on a "hit list" of 10 names of activists who were to be murdered, drawn up by large landowners. Para state civil police chief Joao Moraes responded with a personal attack on des Roziers and accused him of involvement in the murder of a landowner. Established in Aprilthe Justice Ministry's National Secretariat of Human Rights oversees implementation of a action plan to address human rights abuses.

The Secretariat also administers or sponsors programs to reduce violence among the poor, to train police officials in human rights practices, and to combat discrimination against blacks, women, children, indigenous people, the elderly, and the disabled. Robinson commended the Government for allowing her to investigate and for its recognition of its human rights problems and commitment to seek a solution. Robinson declared that impunity from prosecution is the greatest human rights problem, linking it to killings, torture, racial and sexual discrimination, and the exploitation of children.

She also stated that the U. Development Program co-sponsored the preparation of the report. A comprehensive account of the human rights situation in each state, it provides information on health, education, public security, and labor conditions and a list of human rights monitors and advocates in each state. In two attorneys working for a human rights group in Aracatuba, Sao Paulo state, received death threats after successfully prosecuting three police officers who were convicted of torture and homicide. The attorneys asked for police protection and refused to leave the city.

Police investigations into the threats produced no results; the attorneys continued their work but without police protection. Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or nationality; however, discrimination against women, blacks, and indigenous people continued to be a problem. The International Labor Organization ILO notes that important differences in wages affect women and blacks, particularly in rural areas. A law provides prison penalties and fines for racist acts, including promulgation of pejorative terms for ethnic or racial groups, use of the swastika, or acts of discrimination based on sex, religion, age, or ethnic origin.

Several persons have been charged with racism since the law's enactment, mostly for the use of racial slurs. There continued to be reports of violence against homosexuals, although it was not always clear that the victim's sexual orientation was the reason for the attack. The Gay Group of Bahia GGBthe country's best known homosexual rights organization, and AI have in the past 7 years documented the existence of skinhead, neo-Nazi, and "machista" gangs that attacked suspected homosexuals in cities including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia.


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