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Brazil: Police beat, threaten and rape sex workers

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On June 21, Isabel, a prostitute was stopped in the streets of Niterói, a city of half a million people nine miles from Rio de Janeiro, and forced into a car. There she was beaten and threatened by unidentified men apparently belonging to the police. This happened soon after the same woman had made a formal complaint about the way the police had raped women and stolen personal belongings in a raid on May 23 on a building in the city used, legally, by prostitutes.   The raid began when 100 police, all men, arrived in 20 cars and invaded the building in which 300 women work. Though they apparently had no warrant, they rounded up the women they found in the building  and took them away in four buses. The women say that they were threatened and forced to hand over money; some of them were raped. The women say they all work independently, without pimps. As such work is legal in Brazil, the police had no right to arrest them. Their case has been taken up by lawyers from the OAB (Brazilian Bar Association). The woman who made the protest, is now in hiding but she has given a powerful interview (see below), now on YouTube and with English subtitles. 

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