Brazilian police get lesson in non-violence

June 15, 2007

The groves of academe have been brought a little closer to the mean streets of Brazil thanks to a scheme to educate the nation's police.

Brazilian universities are teaching the country's police officers how to ensure security without violating human rights. The programme was set up by a former head of human rights group Amnesty International in Brazil, who is now in charge of police training in the federal Government. It has trained 1,600 officers at universities around the country.

Classes focus on the rights of suspects and minorities, non-violent police tactics and also cover the role of the police in society plus basic sociology and psychology.

The police in Brazil have a fearsome reputation, with a number of mass killings attributed to "death squads" of officers or off-duty colleagues.

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