UN praises Brazil's charges over disappearances

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2012 8:04 AM
UN praises Brazil's charges over disappearances

The United Nations' human rights office says Brazil's decision to file criminal charges over the disappearances of five people is "a long-awaited development towards accountability" for its military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985.

A spokesman for the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights says the decision marks the first time Brazil has prosecuted human rights violations committed during that period.

Rupert Colville said Friday the U.N. welcomes the prosecution against Sebastiao de Moura, a retired army colonel involved in repressing the leftist Araguaia guerrilla movement, as "a first and crucial step in fighting the impunity" of Brazil's military era.

He says that "under international law there should never be an amnesty for serious international crimes."