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Wednesday, June 23, 1999 Published at 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK

World: Americas

Amnesty criticises Brazil jails

The human rights organisation Amnesty International says human rights violations are commonplace in Brazilian jails and police stations.

In a new report, the organisation says cells in many prisons are overcrowded and vermin-infested, and detainees are regularly humiliated and tortured.

The report says torture is also widespread in Brazil's police stations as a means of extracting confessions.

The Brazilian government has recently launched a construction programme to combat overcrowding in jails.

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