Human Rights in Context

Preventing torture in Brazil with Sylvia Dias

August 07, 2020 Matt Sands Season 1 Episode 3
Human Rights in Context
Preventing torture in Brazil with Sylvia Dias
Show Notes

Sylvia Dias is National Representative and Senior Legal Adviser for the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) in Brazil.

In this episode we explore how to prevent torture and the abuse of particularly vulnerable groups by police in the investigation of crime; custody hearings as an innovation in torture prevention that Sylvia describes as "One of the most effective ways to detect torture in the first hours"; and abuse reported in the first hours of police detention. I also ask Sylvia how torture preventive measures can be coordinated and Sylvia explains how crimes of abuse should be investigated. As a new procedure in Brazil, we examine how effective custody hearings are in preventing abuse by police and what impact Covid-19 has had on the procedure. We also appraise the situation in Brazil now and look to see what positive actions are being taken by families of victims to hold police to account. 

Contact information for Sylvia Dias:

Sylvia Dias, APT National Representative, Senior Legal Adviser, Brazil,

Links from the episode:

1. The Association for the Prevention of Torture:

2. The Brazil documentary, 'auto de Hesistencia':

3. APT, Face-to-face custody hearings vital to counter police abuses in Brazil, 20 July 2020, at

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