Antonio Ferreira Braga vs. Brazil (Report No. 35/08, Case 12.019)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


73. The Court has held that all persons detained “have the right to live in prison conditions that are in keeping with personal dignity, and the State must guarantee their rights to life and personal integrity”. The Court has also held that the State, being responsible for detention centers, is the guarantor of these rights of the detainees, which involves, among other things, the obligation to explain what happens to persons who are under its custody. State authorities exercise total control over persons under their custody.

74. The vulnerability of the detainee worsens when the detention is illegal or arbitrary. Then the person is in a situation of complete defenselessness, which causes a definite risk of abridgment of other rights, such as those to humane and decent treatment. The State must provide a satisfactory explanation for what has happened to a person whose physical condition was normal when he was taken into custody, but worsened during or at the end of it.

75. Likewise, the detainee and those with legal custody or representation of the detainee have the right to be informed of the causes and reasons for his or her detention at the time it occurs, which “constitutes a mechanism to avoid illegal or arbitrary detentions from the very moment of imprisonment and, at the same time, ensures the individuals right to defense.