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The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
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Last year, I entered a prison cell in Brazil seemingly designed to breed tuberculosis. Sixty men shared only six cement bunks. Most slept on the bare floor, some in a tangle of hammocks. The intense heat and humidity made the stench of sweat, feces, and…
2015AME_Brazil_Prisons_PHOTO
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The United States is providing early release this weekend for 6,000 inmates who have been serving federal sentences for non-violent drug crimes -- the biggest one-time release of inmates in US history. It's a sign of a tectonic shift occurring in the…
U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff depart a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 30, 2015.
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Pernambuco’s prisons have become a haven of private enterprise. Imagine, if you can, what it is like to be imprisoned there. For 2,000 reais (USD530), you could buy a place to sleep, a narrow wooden cubicle where you can throw a mattress and prop a fan.…
Makeshift “barracos,” or cubicles, inside Pavilion 7 at Presídio Juiz Antônio Luiz L. de Barros (PJALLB), in Recife.
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Among Brazil’s Overpacked Prisons, Pernambuco Tops the List

(São Paulo) – The Brazilian state of Pernambuco has effectively turned over its vastly overcrowded prisons to hand-picked inmate “keyholders,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Pernambuco prison system holds more than three times as…
Penitenciária Agro-Industrial São João
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“Custody Hearings” Improve Due Process, Reduce Prison Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – The Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission in Brazil’s Senate should approve a bill that would introduce basic due process procedures to prevent arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure can also reduce prison…
A judge holds a custody hearing for a detainee in São Paulo on May 11, 2015, with the participation of a prosecutor and a public defender.
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Custody Hearings Help Curb Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – A pilot program in northeastern Brazil is reducing the number of people sent to pretrial detention, a major factor in prison overcrowding and gang recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. The program in Maranhão state promptly brings…
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Stand up for Persecuted Human Rights Activists; Shut Guantanamo

(New York) - The award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama should encourage him to apply his stated principles to both foreign and domestic human rights policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nobel committee awarded the prize…
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Across Brazil, patients are turning to courts to access prescribed drugs.  A comment published in The Lancet, co-authored by Joe Amon, Director of the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, addresses the judicialization of the right to…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Success in Fighting AIDS Hinges on Protecting Rights of Women and Girls

(New York, December 1, 2003) — Violence and discrimination against women and girls is fueling Africa’s AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on World AIDS Day. African governments must make gender equality a central part of…
Report
POLICY PARALYSIS: A CALL FOR ACTION ON HIV/AIDS-RELATED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS IN AFRICA      SUMMARY II. ABUSES OF WOMEN AND GIRLS THAT FUEL HIV/AIDS.. HIV/AIDS and Abuse of Girls Risks to Women and Girls in…
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Many Americans seem to accept the notion that we live in a unipolar world, and that only the United States has the wherewithal to solve complex global problems. But on the continent of Africa, which President Bush is crisscrossing for the first time this…
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U.S. President George W. Bush will be traveling to Africa from July 7-12, visiting Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria. This packet from Human Rights Watch includes material for each stop along the way. A brief overview of the Bush…
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(Brussels) - Forces on all sides in the Congo conflict have committed war crimes against women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a new 114-page report released today.  The report documents the frequent and sometimes systematic use of rape and other…