Killing of witnesses show death squad problem in Brazil UN rights office

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José Luis Díaz, spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in Geneva today, “the Office has learned with great consternation this morning of the reported killing of a second person in Brazil who had spoken to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Asma Jahangir, during her recent visit to that country.”Ms. Jahangir visited Brazil from 16 September to 8 October to check on reports of death squad murders. OHCHR officials in New York reported that on 27 September they received a report from Brazil saying that a witness who had spoken to Ms. Jahangir four days earlier had been shot by two men riding on a motorcycle. News reports today indicated a second witness had been shot in a similar fashion Thursday.Mr. Díaz said the Thursday murder, “seemed to be, unfortunately, indicative of the situation that the Special Rapporteur had described during her mission.””Ms. Jahangir had spoken at some length of death-squad activity,” he added.

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