Amnesty International to report youth abductions in Bahia to UN

A group of parents whose children were killed or disappeared contacted

Published in 05/12/2014 - 13:42 By Vladimir Platonow reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

Mães e pais denunciam à Anistia Internacional uma série de crimes de assassinato, sequestro e desaparecimento de jovens negros em Salvador e outras cidades no Estado da Bahia (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

A group of parents whose children were victims of  violations in Bahia are still left without a clear response by the government authoritiesFernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

Amnesty International (AI) will report deaths and disappearances of young people in the state of Bahia to the United Nations. AI was contacted Thursday (Dec. 4) by a group of parents whose children were victims of these violations and are still left without a clear response by the State authorities. These families reported police involvement in the cases and said the police has not taken action to investigate.

“We continue to see young blacks being murdered or kidnapped and no one is held accountable. In one case, Davi Fiuza, who disappeared 40 days after being approached by a police officer. There are witnesses reporting he was abducted, tied up, and taken in a car. There are other mothers who have had their children killed or disappeared, and the authorities haven't taken effective action,” said Alexandre Ciconello, the Human Rights adviser for Amnesty International.

Ciconello said Davi's case will be taken to the UN and possibly to the Organization of American States (OAS) along with other similar cases. “In Davi's case, a UN work group on missing persons have contacted us to bring this case formally before the committee. Sometimes when a case which remains unsolved, we turn to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [OAS], which is precisely what we're planning to do now.”Davi's mother, Rute Silva, said her son was abducted while watching a police operation in October. “There was a police raid in our neighborhood, and my son stood watching, like any curious boy. Suddenly, they hooded him, tied him up, and dumped him into an unmarked car. Since then, I've looked for him everywhere and in every possible way, but found nothing,” he said.

Alexandre Ciconello, assessor de direitos humanos da Anistia Internacional Brasil, fala sobre denuncias de assassinatos, sequestros e desaparecimentos de jovens negros no estado da Bahia (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

Alexandre Ciconello,  adviser for Amnesty International Fernando Frazão - Agência Brasil

Ciconello said they are having difficulties obtaining a response from the authorities in Bahia. “These are not isolated cases, there is a difficulty in getting the Public Security Secretariat to take action in such cases, especially when police are involved. We have received many reports about death squads. But controls on police activity in Bahia are too loose. The Internal Inspection has just shelved Davi's case, even though there were witnesses saying he was approached by military police. Deeper, more structural changes are needed in the way police works.”

He reported that Amnesty International has just launched a worldwide campaign on Davi's case. “What we are trying to do, like we did in the case of Amarildo [a bricklayer who is said to have been disappeared by police last year in Rio], is to raise public awareness of what the authorities did and get people to speak up and put pressure on authorities to investigate. Officially, they do say they will investigate, but we have seen no effective response to hold police accountable and changing the way they operate. Moreover, the victims and their families are getting the blame.”

Asked to comment the case, the Public Safety Secretariat of Bahia said in a statement that it is taking all appropriate action and that the police officers who were on duty the day Davi disappeared are being heard in the investigation.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Amnesty International to report youth abductions in Bahia to UN

Edition: Aécio Amado / Augusto Queiroz

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