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STF's Second Panel decision guarantees the right to daily sunbathing to all convicted prisoners

15/10/2020

By unanimous vote, the Second Panel of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), in a virtual session, followed the vote of Justice Celso de Mello, retired on the 13th of October, which guaranteed to all convicted prisoners the right to leave the cell for at least two hours a day for sunbathing. The decision was made in the analysis of the Collective Habeas Corpus merit (HC) 172136, judged by São Paulo’s Public Defender's Office.

International conventions

In the Second Panel's virtual session that was finalized on October 9, the Justices, by majority, did not admit the HC for procedural reasons but have unanimously followed the rapporteur's vote by extension, officially, of the benefit to all prisoners in the same situation regardless of the penitentiary establishment in which they are collected. The decision was based on the Constitution, the Criminal Enforcement Law (article 52, IV) and international conventions such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners ("Nelson Mandela Rules").

According to Justice Celso de Mello, the prison administration's refusal to allow convicted prisoners collected from special pavilions to exercise their right to sunbathe is contrary to international human rights conventions signed by Brazil, whose application is legitimized by the Federal Constitution. In his understanding, the situation reveals the Public Power's state of inertia in relation to the rights and guarantees of people deprived of their liberty, "consequently, emptying the high significance that represents the postulate of human dignity.”

VP/AS//CF - CG/FB/JR

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