• Press Release

Brazil: Amnesty International activists deliver body bags to Rio 2016 organizers

July 27, 2016

Forty body bags, representing the number of people killed by the police in May 2016 in Rio de Janeiro were displayed in front of the Local Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympics by Amnesty International’s activists in a peaceful protest.

The activists also delivered a petition signed by 120,000 people from more than 15 countries demanding public security policies that respect human rights during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“The Local Organizing Committee is in charge of the mega event and bears shared responsibility over the security operations and consequent human rights violations committed by agents of the State in the context of the Olympics,” said Atila Roque, Amnesty International Brazil Director.

“It is part of the Local Organizing Committee’s mandate to ensure that security practices are aligned with the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence and that international protocols on the use of force and on human rights are fully respected.”

Since April, Amnesty International has been raising concerns around the increased risk of human rights violations in the context of Rio 2016 Olympics, as it happened before in other mega sporting events such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2007 Panamerican Games. Since 2009, when Rio won the bid to host the Olympics, more than 2,600 people were killed by the police in the city.

 “Brazil failed to learn from past mistakes. In the month of May alone, 40 people were victims of homicides committed by the police, a 135% increase in comparison to the same period in 2015. These numbers are unacceptable and compromise the Olympic legacy,” said Renata Neder, Human Rights advisor at Amnesty International.