Human Rights office commends Brazil following convictions related to 1992 prison riotListen /
The UN human rights office has welcomed the sentencing of 23 military police officers in Brazil in connection with the suppression of a prison riot more than two decades ago.
The officers were convicted earlier this week for their responsibility in the deaths of 13 inmates at Carandiru penitentiary in São Paulo in October 1992.
In total, 111 prisoners were killed in the suppression of the riot and investigations revealed that many were shot at close range.
Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson at the UN human rights office in Geneva, says 53 more military police officers are expected to stand trial in the coming months.
"We commend the Brazilian authorities after more than two decades of impunity for one of the most brutal incidents of violence in a prison for bringing justice for some of the victims of Carandiru, and we will follow closely the ongoing trials regarding the other alleged perpetrators. We also encourage the Brazilian authorities to urgently address the dire situation in prisons in which nearly half a million people are detained." (31 secs)
Pouilly reports that prior to the convictions, only the commander of the operation had been found guilty of excessive use of force.
He was convicted in 2001 but acquitted on appeal five years later.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.