State Violence, Torture, and Political Prisoners: On the Role Played by Amnesty International in Brazil During the Dictatorship (1964–1985), 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

State Violence, Torture, and Political Prisoners

On the Role Played by Amnesty International in Brazil During the Dictatorship (1964–1985), 1st Edition

By Renata Meirelles


136 pages

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Hardback: 9780815353713
pub: 2019-10-21
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State Violence, Torture, and Political Prisoners discusses the activities of Amnesty International during the period of Brazil's dictatorship (1964–1985). During the dictatorship, Amnesty assisted political prisoners who were submitted to torture and helped to publicize charges of torture against agents of the military regime’s repressive apparatus. Through a specific examination of Amnesty's work with Brazilian political prisoners, this book explores how Amnesty adapted its organizational principles – such as non-violence and the focus on individual cases – during this time.

In 1967 Amnesty experienced a severe internal crisis, which prompted the organization to make structural changes. These changes enabled Amnesty to expand its activities beyond Europe to Latin America, including Brazil. This book examines one of Amnesty International’s first major campaigns against torture, and the impact this had on the organization’s development of a new agenda. Bringing a critical and historical perspective on Amnesty’s work, this book contributes to the debate on the role of human rights organisations in addressing human rights abuses worldwide. It makes a significant contribution to international research on state crime, human rights, and torture.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Amnesty International in the 1960s: The Origins and History of the Cold War Organisation; 2. The Brazilian dictatorship and state violence; 3. Amnesty’s work regarding the Brazilian dictatorship; Conclusion

About the Author

Renata Meirelles is an historian and researcher from Brazil. Since March 2018, she has taught Theory of History at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). She has a PhD in history (2016) and a master’s degree in history (2008). During her PhD, she developed part of her research abroad at King’s College London and at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Her research focuses on human rights, international relations, and civil society resistance to state violence.

About the Series

Crimes of the Powerful

Crimes of the Powerful encompasses the harmful, injurious, and victimizing behaviors perpetrated by privately or publicly operated businesses, corporations, and organizations as well as the state mediated administrative, legalistic, and political responses to these crimes.

The series draws attention to the commonalities of the theories, practices, and controls of the crimes of the powerful. It focuses on the overlapping spheres and inter-related worlds of a wide array of existing and recently developing areas of social, historical, and behavioral inquiry into the wrongdoings of multinational organizations, nation-states, stateless regimes, illegal networks, financialization, globalization, and securitization.

These examinations of the crimes of the powerful straddle a variety of related disciplines and areas of academic interest, including studies in criminology and criminal justice; law and human rights; conflict, peace, and security; economic change, environmental decay, and global sustainability.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology