Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, October 26, 2020 01:14:10 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

When the state literally invades our bodies

By
10th-May-2014       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Valdenor Junior :
Brazil is a violent country. A sizable part of the population experiences many aggressions in its streets. However, violence in Brazil is present in prisons too. There, it can take very subtle forms, which very few people - except those who suffer from it - come to know about. Among these subtle forms of violence are the "vexatious searches." On April 23, Rede Justiça Criminal launched a national campaign against vexatious searches in prisons.
The campaign's website splash page warns us: "This campaign contains offensive language, and dramatizations are based on real accounts from the victims." When we proceed, there is a new warning: "Close your eyes, put on a headset and feel the victims' pain." The stories are very moving. They speak of women and children who went to visit their incarcerated family members and had to strip and spread their genitalia open as well as squat three times before being allowed in the prison. "We can't see inside. Open your vagina with your hands. There, that way I can see it properly," a prison officer says in one of the accounts.
In a handwritten letter publicized by Rede Justiça Criminal, a woman denounces what happens in a São Paulo penitentiary:
We suffered constant humiliation and embarrassment; we had to pry our intimate parts open with our hands, lift our legs and rest them on the counter, put the finger in, crawl on all fours, and (…) if we are having our period, we cannot visit our relatives.
The institution defines vexatious searches as the "procedure to which people are submitted when they visit their family members in prison. This practice is known as vexatious search exactly because of its humiliating and abusive character. These people, children, adults, or elders, are required to take off their clothes, squat several times, and often have their genitals inspected (with no attention to hygiene whatsoever)."
Rede Justiça Criminal also notes that it is a harsh reality that approximately half a million people weekly in Brazil endure, while its effectiveness to prevent the entry of drugs or cell phones in the penal institutions is debatable: According to a survey, only .03% of the people searched in São Paulo penitentiaries are ever caught holding banned items. It affects disproportionately adult women, who make up 70% of the searched.
Researchers Raquel Lima and Amanda Oi also stress that the practice's perceived legitimacy distorts the officer's view of the situation:
And … those women who cry, try to cover their body with their hands, or demand their rights to be respected are treated as undisciplined and not as people reacting instinctively to an act of violence. Many end up being punished with loss of visiting privileges for at least 30 days, under the justification that they slow down work by the prison personnel.
We should not be surprised: Obedience to authority is an instrument of psychological desensitizing, as described by Milgram's famous experiment. Without a culture of questioning power, there can be no respect to basic individual rights.
For that reason, the group calls for the approval of a new law which would forbid this practice (nowadays it's left to each state to regulate it) and propose, as an alternative, the so-called "humanized search," already employed in the state of Goiás.
A large public debate was needed about the subject in Goiás so that it would enact change. It was spurred by the publication by the Public Prosecution of a video in 2010 called "Vexatious Search - Visiting a Brazilian Prison." According to prosecutor Harold Caetano da Silva, it was brought about by the "courage of a woman who allowed filming of her search under the old system and was willing to denounce, even if it meant exposing her own body, the abject institutional violence committed by the State of Goiás against the people, mainly women, of all ages, that experience the duress of having a relative, friend or partner convicted and incarcerated."
As David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan pointed out, the existence of civil rights, and even the existence of a libertarian society, depends on a culture of freedom and individuality, where specific heroic acts are catalysts for change. Despite the human tendency to social conformity, the example of someone who rebels against an unjust rule makes it easier for other people to question it, creating a new opposing trend. The example of this woman in Goiás is firmly within this social dynamic, bringing about change that prevented many people from going through the same situation as her.
Prisoners' families should not be penalized by vexatious searches. It is necessary to liberate Brazilians from yet another state violence. As libertarians, we cannot tolerate it if we ever want to live in a free society.

Tariff
Sonali-Paper
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

People don't need directives on pandemic they need deeds of help to face economic hardship


HEALTH experts on Saturday suggested taking lessons from the mistakes in last seven months and implementing scientific decisions more than bureaucratic ones to fight the second wave of the Covid-19 which is apprehended to hit the country during winter. They also recommended intensifying community engagement and risk communication, but pointed ...

Business & Economy »

Dr Sultan Ahmed, Secretary of Power Division, inaugurating the 'Bangabondhu Avenue 33/11 sub-station' at Bangabondhu Avenue in city's Gulistan area on Sunday as chief guest. Engineer Bikash Dewan, Managing Director and other senior officials of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) were also present.


Business & Economy »

BPC gets new chairman


Business Desk :The government has appointed Md Abu Bakar Siddique as the chairman of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).The Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular in this regard on Thursday, saying the order will come into immediate effect, reports UNB.He will replace Md Shamsul Rahman, an additional secretary of ...

City »

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal speaks to officers and sailors of 'BNS Bijoy' on its arrival from Lebanon after completion of UN Peace Keeping Mission UNIFIL successfully on Sunday.


City »

Egyptian Ambassador to Bangladesh Walid Ahmed Shamseldin makes his farewell call on Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen at his office in the capital on Sunday


International »

`Demands not met`: Anti-govt protests resume in Iraq


Al Jazeera News :Protesters have gathered in Baghdad's Tahrir Square to mark one year since anti-government protests erupted and gripped Iraq.Sunday's demonstrations renewed calls from last October which saw the start of Iraq's biggest anti-government protest movement since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, with demonstrations in the capital Baghdad ...

Entertainment »

Neha Kakkar, Rohanpreet Singh’s wedding takes place at Gurudwara


New videos from the wedding of singers Neha Kakkar and Rohanpreet Singh have been leaked on the internet. In the clips, the two are seen twinning in shades of peach and pink, as they get married at Gurudwara in Delhi. Videos from the ring ceremony were also shared online. Neha ...

International »

Nigeria says 51 civilians, 18 security forces killed in unrest


Al Jazeera News :Nigeria's president announced 51 civilians were killed in unrest following days of peaceful protests over police abuses and blamed "hooliganism" for the violence while asserting security forces used "extreme restraint".President Muhammadu Buhari's comments in a statement released late Friday are expected to further inflame tensions after Amnesty ...

Business & Economy »

MM Monirul Alam, CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Limited, handing over its first Maturity Claim (Individual Life Policy) cheque to its nominee at its head office in the city recently. Mahmudur Rahman Khan, SEVP, Mohammad Masuduzzaman Khan, EVP, Rubayat Saleheen, SVP and other officials of the company were also present.


Entertainment »

Ananya Panday`s friends had to say after watching Khaali Peeli


Ananya Panday has carved out a special place in the hearts of the audience with her quirky looks and her ability to nail every character. After the success of Khaali Peeli, Ananya is on cloud nine with all the love and appreciation that is coming her way. Not only were ...

Editorial »

Nothings to stop stealing funds for family planning


MEDIA reports said Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) has paid ghost bills against work orders that were not either fulfilled or not implemented at all by contractual parties. Such cases of fake billing and misappropriation funds galore with another DGFP project; in which a probe committee found payments were ...

Editorial »

Transfer may offer protection from anger of local people


NINETEEN police officials including the Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) have been transferred on Thursday in the aftermath of Rayhan murder in city's Bandar Bazar police outpost on October 11.  The Commissioner has been transferred to Prime Minister's Special Protection Battalion (SPBn) as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police ...

International »

Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off US reaction


Reuters, Ankara :Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Friday that Turkey had been testing the S-400 air defense system it bought from Russia, adding that the objection from NATO ally United States on the issue did not matter.Washington says Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 systems compromise NATO defences, and has ...

Entertainment »

What film actors say about Pori Moni on the occasion of her birthday


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Children are very much fond of film actress Pori Moni. There is a reason for one thing. After releasing the song titled Dana kata pori performed by Pori Moni in Wajed Ali Sumon directed movie Rokto, it is still popular songs among all. In any stage show ...

Editorial »

Bangladesh should take immediate measures to cope with Kuwait's new foreign workers’ law


KUWAIT'S parliament has approved a law to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country by one year, as part of efforts to 'rebalance' its population. The new legislation, which would force hundreds of thousands of expats to leave the Gulf state, was passed with an aim to provide ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news