Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Brazilian exhibit to highlight abuses by military regime


The government has prepared an unprecedented exhibition and book accusing federal agents of murdering, raping and torturing alleged adversaries of Brazil's 1964-1985 military regime, the government and human-rights activists said on Saturday.

The Right to Memory and the Truth is scheduled to be released in the capital of Brasilia on Wednesday, the 28th anniversary of the 1979 Amnesty Law that pardoned all Brazilians -- both military and civilian -- for alleged crimes committed under the military dictatorship.

The government news agency Agencia Brasil showed graphic photos it said would be part of the exhibition, including scenes of army tanks in Brasilia and the bodies of slain government opponents. The show will feature photographs and posters that depict the emergence of a broad, peaceful movement for free elections that eventually toppled the dictatorship.

The 500-page book reportedly details the cases of 136 people from the era who are listed as dead or missing and 339 Brazilians who sought compensation for cruel treatment by government agents, the daily Folha de S. Paulo reported.

Brazil passed a law in 1995 acknowledging that the government was responsible for the deaths of opponents of the dictatorship. It paid compensation to more than 300 families ranging from US$50,000 to US$77,000.

Victims of the dictatorship called the book modest progress in revealing Brazil's past.

"On the positive side, it's the first time the government shows the results of investigations. But that's no more than the government's obligation,'' said Victoria Grabois, founder of the rights group Torture Never Again.

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