UN Accuses Brazil's Bolsonaro of Violating Anti-Torture Pact

"In Brazil, there is a large number of people deprived of their liberty in overcrowded prisons where violent deaths and riots occur," the U.N. warned.

The United Nations in Geneva accused Monday the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for failing to comply with the international pact against torture.

RELATED: Brazil's Amazon Deforestation Rises Over 100% Year-Over-Year

A report written by the U.N. Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture denounced the dismantling of the National Mechanism for Combating and Preventing Torture created six years ago by former President Dilma Rousseff to inspect, interview and request documentation in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and addiction care institutes.

By eliminating the Mechanism to Combat Torture, Bolsonaro has given sort of a “license to hurt” to the agents of a penitentiary system that houses more than 700,000 inmates.

Brazil has the obligation to consider the recommendations of the U.N. after signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture in 2007, during the government of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to the report, in Brazil, there is "a large number of people deprived of their liberty in precarious conditions in overcrowded prisons where violent deaths and riots occur."

@omctorg #Brazil : a government that incites violence and glorifies #torture shouldn’t sit on the #HumanRightsCouncil. Together with over 150 NGOs we explain why http://bit.ly/2IxERuc

Likewise, the document specifies that a "significant number of denunciations of torture and ill-treatment" in prisons have been noted, so it recommends to the Brazilian authorities that instead of "weakening" the Mechanism for Combating Torture this should be "strengthened."

The U.N. investigation began in June with a complaint filed by the NGOs Justicia Global and Tierra de Derechos, after which representatives of the Brazilian government were summoned to Geneva.

Previous reports had warned about the corruption and violence prevailing in several prisons in the Amazon region before a wave of riots began in 2017 that ended up leaving nearly 200 dead, with about 50 beheaded.​​​​​​

The Mechanism was practically gone when its experts stopped receiving salaries after the approval of presidential decree 9.831 published last June 10.​​​​​​​


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UN Confirms Serious Human Rights Violations in Piñera's Chile

"We recommend the immediate end of the indiscriminate use of anti-riot shotguns to control demonstrations​​​," the United Nations mission leader said.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Friday presented a report confirming that human rights have been violated in Chile.

This happened as a result of the unsuccessful attempt to halt massive demonstrations against President Sebastian Piñera, which began on Oct. 18 and continue so far.

RELATED: Chilean Lawmakers Reject Move To Impeach President Piñera

"There are good reasons to argue that there have been a high number of serious human rights violations," the OHCHR mentions.

In its report, this international organization describes multiple human rights violations committed by the Military Police (Carabineros) and the Army.

Among these acts of State terrorism are 113 cases of torture and 24 cases of sexual violence against women, men, children, and adolescents.

Also, it is mentioned that at least 2,111 civilians were injured and 350 people experienced serious eye injuries, according to existing records until Dec. 10.

"There was an unnecessary and disproportionate use of lethal weapons, particularly riot guns, during peaceful demonstrations and/or outside the context of violent clashes," the report holds.

@Reuters @AP @nytimesworld @BBCWorld @latimes In Chile FLAGRANT police brutality is still rampant. Favorite tactics include: Indiscriminate Arbitrary false arrest/Firing at the head-face-eyes/Running people over with their vehicles. Ex-Interior Minister is now facing trail

Such disproportionate use of lethal force "generated a high number of injured people, including bystanders and people who were not committing violent acts."

The UN mission recognized that there are 26 people killed and documented four unlawful deaths involving state agents. In two of these cases, it was clear that those who died were in police custody.

In addition, between Oct. 18 and Dec. 6, at least 28,000 people were arrested, 1,615 of whom remain in pre-trial detention​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​

This human rights report is the result of the work of a United Nations mission that visited Chile at the invitation of the Piñera administration.

"We have found that the overall management of assemblies by the police was carried out in a fundamentally repressive manner," OHCHR mission leader Imma Guerras-Delgado said, adding that her team will continue to receive allegations of violations by police forces.

"We recommend the immediate end of the indiscriminate use of anti-riot shotguns to control demonstrations​​​."​​


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Cuba reiterates rejection of weapons of mass destruction in The Hague

Cuba reiterated here today its rejection of the use of weapons of mass destruction, on the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare.

The Cuban representation reaffirmed that Latin America and the Caribbean is a zone of peace, free of weapons of mass destruction, during the Twenty-third Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to diplomatic sources.

The meeting was also an opportunity to ratify the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the goals of peace, security and multilateralism.

With the participation of senior officials of the Conference, representatives of the OPCW member states, the Dutch Government and international organizations, a floral wreath was laid at the memorial site and a minute of silence was held in memory of the victims.

Last year, Cuba reiterated at this meeting that the destruction of all categories of chemical weapons remains one of the fundamental objectives of the Organization, and that it must be completed by possessing States as soon as possible and under the verification annex.

The Cuban delegation also referred to the importance of promoting the economic and technological development of States, particularly the less developed ones, and called for the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article XI of the Convention.

On this point, Cuba denounced the unilateral blockade policy imposed by the United States government against the island that constitutes a violation of the provisions of the aforementioned article.

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U.S. has world's highest rate of children in detention: U.N. study

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States has the world’s highest rate of children in detention, including more than 100,000 in immigration-related custody that violates international law, the author of a United Nations study said on Monday.

Worldwide more than 7 million people under age 18 are held in jails and police custody, including 330,000 in immigration detention centres, independent expert Manfred Nowak said.

Children should only be detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible, according to the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

“The United States is one of the countries with the highest numbers - we still have more than 100,000 children in migration-related detention in the (U.S.),” Nowak told a news briefing.

“Of course separating children, as was done by the Trump administration, from their parents and even small children at the Mexican-U.S. border is absolutely prohibited by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I would call it inhuman treatment for both the parents and the children.”

There was no immediate reaction from U.S. authorities. Novak said U.S. officials had not replied to his questionnaire sent to all countries.

He said the United States had ratified major international treaties such as those guaranteeing civil and political rights and banning torture, but was the only country not to have ratified the pact on the rights of children.

“The way they were separating infants from families only in order to deter irregular migration from Central America to the United States to me constitutes inhuman treatment, and that is absolutely prohibited by the two treaties,” said Nowak, a professor of international law at the University of Vienna.

The United States detains an average of 60 out of every 100,000 children in its justice system or immigration-related custody, Nowak said, the world’s highest rate, followed by countries such as Bolivia, Botswana and Sri Lanka.

Mexico, where many Central American migrants have been turned back at the U.S. border, also has high numbers, with 18,000 children in immigration-related detention and 7,000 in prisons, he said.

The U.S. rate compared with an average of five per 100,000 in Western Europe and 14-15 in Canada, he said.

At least 29,000 children, mainly linked to Islamic State fighters, are held in northern Syria and in Iraq - with French citizens among the biggest group of foreigners, Nowak added.

Even if some of these children had been child soldiers, he said, they should be mainly treated as victims, not perpetrators, so that they could be rehabilitated and reintegrated in society.

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The World against the Blockade and Defeat of the New U.S. Acolytes

As it has been happening since 1992, Cuba achieved again a blasting victory at the UN during the presentation of the draft Resolution to End the U.S. Blockade against Cuba before the General Assembly of that organization. A total of 187 countries voted to end the genocide that, for almost sixty years, the United States has perpetrated against the Island.

The novelty this time, however, was that to the votes of the United States and Israel it was added that of Brazil, while Ukraine and Colombia chose to abstain.

To justify Brazil’s position, which for 27 years invariably voted in favor of Cuba, the current president of that country, Jair Bolsonaro, said yesterday:

“It’s the first time that Brazil accompanies the United States in the matter of the embargo on Cuba. (...) We are in favor of the embargo against Cuba; After all, isn't there a dictatorship?

Likewise, the current Foreign Minister of that country, Ernesto Araújo, defended the change in the historical position of the Brazilian diplomacy as a "defense of the truth."

Servile submission to the current U.S. administration aside, the truth is that the current Brazilian president, more than once has expressed his desire to reinstate a military dictatorship similar to the one that ruled that country after the coup d'état to João Goulart , in 1964.

Bolsonaro has more than once praised as national heroes the military who, in the dictatorial period from 1964 to 1985, were responsible for governing the country. The very ones who put into practice repressive methods such as kidnappings, private prisons, torture, murder and concealment of corpses.

According to the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, during Lula da Silva’s time in office, 475 people died or disappeared for political reasons in those years, a figure that may be bigger, if the territorial extension of Brazil is taken into account, the absence of statistical studies, the high number of requests for compensation, the non-inclusion of some people in the missing persons list, or the refusal to include those whose relatives did not report.

Likewise, at the vote yesterday at the UN it was striking how Ukraine as a North American satellite joined in. As it’s known, that country now plays a leading role in the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. According to witness statements, Trump conditioned, through blackmail, the delivery of U.S. aid in exchange for Ukraine to publicly investigating Joe Biden, Trump's political adversary, Biden's son and other Democrats.

We’d need to see this time, in exchange for what the United States obtained the abstention of that ex-Soviet republic.

Equally significant was the debut of Colombia, a nation that, if the United States really were interested in defending human rights somewhere in the world, would have long since blocked.

According to a report prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN High Commissioner released yesterday, in the matter of killings of human rights activists in Latin America, Colombia is the country that accumulates the most crimes, with a total of 63 cases.

These figures, says the same source, are lower if compared to those handled by other institutions within that country.

The UN Office for Human Rights not only keeps record of these crimes, but also advances the "verification process" of another 43 murders "where it’s presumed that the victim was a human rights defender. The cases occurred in 19 of the 32 departments of Colombia and correspond to the period between May 1st and September 30th” says ANSA.

Anyway, as the vote in favor of Cuba demonstrated, the lies defended by the United States UN ambassador, Kelly Craft cannot fool anyone. The overwhelming Cuban victory, receiving the support of the large majority of countries in the world, was inversely proportional to the defeat of the United States and the new acolytes of the current world fascist dictatorship.

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UN General Assembly Debates Cuba Draft Resolution against U.S. Blockade

Since 1992, the resolution presented by Cuba in this forum has been supported by the majority of the participants and the international community

Today and tomorrow, for the twenty-eighth time, Cuba will submit to the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.

In the main organ of the United Nations, once again, there will be an overwhelming rejection of a genocidal, criminal, and unjust policy that hinders the sustainable development of Cuban society and arbitrarily harms the Cuban people, who decided 60 years ago to determine their destiny.

U.S. Blockade’s Most Inhuman Side

In a backdrop of extreme hostility on the part of the Donald Trump administration, Cuba will win with the support of the nations of the world that defend the right to the self-determination of the peoples and respect for multilateralism.

More than 35 speakers will use the floor during the explanation of vote this Wednesday. The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, will address the Assembly on Thursday to express the reasons of his people and state.

Cuba will not cease in its demand for the elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, and it will once again present a draft resolution that since 1992 has had the overwhelming support of the international community.

  • Published in Cuba

Venezuela ratifies intention to sign agreements with FAO

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ratified his intention to sign a humanitarian cooperation agreement with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s World Food Program.

During a meeting to evaluate the development of the productive engines of the Bolivarian Economic Agenda, the president reaffirmed his wish that FAO comes to Venezuela, and assured that he is ready to sign a collaboration agreement.

Maduro noted that he has approved resources in petros (Venezuela's crypto currency), after a meeting between Productive Agriculture and Lands Minister Wilmar Castro with FAO authorities, during his recent visit to Rome.

In that regard, Castro said that Venezuela successfully explained to FAO four social programs for the people's development and productivity.

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At the UN, Cuba reports progress in the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations, October 17 (RHC)-- Despite nearly 60 years of U.S. blockade, Cuba currently excels in social indicators and meets several goals set by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Ana Silvia Rodriguez, Cuba´s Deputy Representative to the United Nations made that statement on Wednesday at a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

“Although Cuba is a small island developing state, subject to the adverse effects of powerful hurricanes, droughts and climate change, it is currently the second in the world with the lowest value in the Multidimensional Poverty Index,” she recalled, and added that the island is the only nation in Latin America and the Caribbean that has eliminated severe child malnutrition, according to the 2018 UNICEF Report.

Also, it ranks fifth among the first 14 countries to reduce the Hunger and Malnutrition Index on a sustained basis for several years, said the Cuban diplomat.

Rodriguez stressed that the commitment to definitively eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions could be achieved if nations such as the United States, which devote multimillion-dollar resources to military expenditures, dedicated them to development.

The day before, in the debate 'Eradication of poverty and other development issues' of the Second Committee of the United Nations, at its 74th session, Cuba reaffirmed its commitment to South-South cooperation and international solidarity to overcome these problems.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
  • Published in Cuba
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