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Judge orders the Union to pay R$1 million to a teacher arrested and tortured during the dictatorship

Federal judge Fernanda Ribeiro Pinto, of the 4th Federal Court of Niterói, ordered the Union to compensate – for moral damages – R$ 150 thousand, or approximately R$ 1 million updated, Professor João Florêncio Junior, victim of arrest illegal and torture during the military regime (1964-1985). João Florêncio, now 73 years old, was arrested in 1972. He was 21 years old at the time.

The judge partially granted the request. He underlined that in the documents the Union “did not even expressly dispute these claims, which were sufficiently supported by the evidence”.

The Union, however, argued that the plaintiff’s claim was time-barred. But the judge noted that the Superior Court of Justice has already clarified that, in cases where there has been a “patent violation of human rights, in an exceptional regime scenario, the claim is imprescriptible.”

The value of the compensation must be subject to pecuniary correction, as established by Maxim 362 of the Superior Court of Justice, and to default interest starting from the date of the arrest, which occurred on 25 April 1972, as determined by Maxim 54 of the STJ – updated , the value of the compensation exceeds R$ 1 million.

For the professor’s lawyer, João Pedro Brígido, the sentence reflects “even if minimally, the gravity of the acts committed against the author and the need for historical and moral reparation”.

João Florêncio’s arrest took place on April 25, 1972. According to the action, the professor was taken to the DOI-Codi facilities and tortured by preliminary interrogation teams. He was only released on December 11, 1972, almost 8 months later.

The DOI-Codi (Operations and Information Detachment of the Operations and Internal Defense Center) was the heaviest weapon of repression. He worked alongside military commands.

In sentencing Union, the federal judge noted that “there is evidence that, during his time in prison, (João Florêncio) was subjected to torture.”

The decision states that, in 1972, the professor was arrested, in Pernambuco, by a “security agency”, while studying physics, due to his alleged involvement with the Brazilian Revolutionary Communist Party (PCBR) and the practice of “subversive activities “. ‘.

“It is clear that the arrest was motivated by political reasons,” wrote judge Fernanda Ribeiro Pinto, according to whom “the military regime acted in a strategic and coordinated manner and, one by one, sent the prisoners to the DOI- Codi, who carried out the first interrogations and there they subjected the militants to electroshock, plow sticks and beatings.”

He underlines that «torture was the tool that allowed Doi Codi to extort information from prisoners and, from there, reach new members of the PCBR» – as the deputy and economics professor told the Truth Commission some time later of the Federal University of Pernambuco, Pedro Eugênio, cell neighbor of João Florêncio.

For lawyer João Pedro Brígido, who represented the teacher in the proceedings, the court’s decision “not only recognizes the damages suffered by the teacher, but also reaffirms the Judiciary’s commitment to truth, justice and historical memory , contributing to dark episodes such as those that occurred during the military dictatorship are not forgotten and that violations of human rights are never repeated in our country”.

“The sentence reveals a commitment by Brazilian institutions to repair, even if minimally, the damage caused by the unjustifiable violence of the State against those who thought differently from the dictatorial regime”, assesses Brígido.

For the lawyer, “by condemning torture and illegal detention, the Judiciary cannot, nor does it intend, to erase these terrible facts from history.”

“It is not even capable of making the irreversible psychological and physical damage caused to the victim disappear. However, sentences like this guarantee that the state’s arbitrariness will not go unpunished by the judiciary nor will it be forgotten by society”, argues João Pedro Brígido.

Source: Terra

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