1.The Brazilian State implements specific and effective solutions to improve the condition of persons deprived of liberty throughout
the national territory. This commitment is reflected – at the international level – on the importance Brazil attributes to the multilateral
mechanisms for addressing torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, in conformity with the United
Nations Convention and its Additional Protocol.
2.Brazil expresses its commitment to the protection of human rights by adhering to nearly all international conventions on human rights
and by maintaining a standing invitation to special procedures such as the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), in order to
allow its members to visit the country and monitor compliance with SPT obligations. The 1988 Federal Constitution is a legal
framework regarding the recognition of fundamental rights and guarantees. Its article 5 lists a set of fundamental rights that cannot be
3.Therefore, Brazil welcomes the dialogue with the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, after its representative’s
visit to the country on 19-30 September 2011. The aforementioned cooperation among Brazil and the SPT has contributed to the
strengthening of the activities carried out and to guaranteeing the human rights of persons deprived of liberty in Brazil.
4.On 14 June 2012 Brazil made public the report issued as a result of the SPT’s visit. The release of the report recommendations has
promoted the discussion on the guarantee of the rights of the population deprived of liberty to be conducted in a transparent and
constructive way, in line with the spirit of international cooperation and of productive dialogues with civil society.
5.By responding to the aforementioned report, the State corroborates the efforts undertaken by different bodies of the Executive, the
Legislative, and the Judiciary Powers, as well as of the State Governments to ensure appropriate imprisonment conditions to persons
deprived of liberty.
6.The SPT report makes recommendations that have deserved a careful analysis by the Brazilian State, performed in the course of an
intense intersectoral dialogue involving the Secretariat for Human Rights, the Civil Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic, the
Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Secretariat for Women's Rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Council
of Justice, the President’s Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, The National Council of the Department of Prosecution, the
Office of the Federal Attorney for Citizen Rights, and the Governments of the States whose prison facilities were visited by the SPT,
specifically, Goiás, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo.
7.This document is the result of a joint effort to illustrate the actions and policies Brazil has implemented to improve imprisonment
conditions according to the SPT recommendations.
The Brazilian State
8.Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment are expressly prohibited under article 5 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution. Torture is
considered a heinous, non bailable offence, not susceptible of grace or amnesty. Other federal provisions, such as those of the
Criminal Code, the Criminal Execution Law, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and Law 9455/97 also prohibit these practices
9.For a better understanding of the State apparatus deployed to eradicate torture in Brazil it is necessary to underscore the country´s
two main juridical pillars: first, the separation of the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary branches, and second, the federalism.
Hence, to understand institutional, political, and democratic guarantees aimed at preventing and combating torture, it is required to
distinguish and identify the role played by each of the three powers of the Federal Government and by each federal entity (the union,
the states and the municipalities). Under this institutional framework it is also highlighted the work of the Public Prosecutor’s Office,
the State and Federal Public Defender Offices, and the Council of Justice. All these institutions stand as a symbol of the consolidation
of democracy and Rule of Law in Brazil.
10.Police work, criminal justice administration and the execution of judicial sentences are incumbent upon the states. The majority of
measures aimed at preventing and combating torture are implemented by the states and the Federal District. In this respect,
cooperation among the states and local efforts are highly relevant for the implementation of effective measures to combat torture and
other inhuman or degrading treatment.
11.Some recent achievements deserve to be mentioned as they are reflected in major steps taken to condemn torture and every form
of ill-treatment. One such achievement was the establishment of the National Truth Commission on 16 May 2012. By bringing into
the light the torture practices that took place from 18 September 1946 until the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution, the
Commission’s work shall contribute to prevent these practices from happening at government institutions, whether at those
responsible for public security or at those in charge of the administration of the prison system, or at other places of deprivation of
liberty in Brazil.
12.Another achievement was the sanctioning of Law n. 12.527 of 18 November 2011, on Access to Information Law. As the
President of the Republic said, as she sanctioned the law, “never again shall information pertaining to human rights violations be
classified, secret, or top secret.” With the entry into force of this law and its regulation, the norms that regulate the classification of
information in Brazil became clearer. No degree of confidentiality is admitted to documents related to human rights violations.
II.The Brazilian prison system