Activist’s Home is Invaded by Police on May 1st
by Harpo 6:06pm Wed May 1 '02 (Modified on 2:40pm Thu May 2 '02)
The home of the activist named A. S. (name initials) was invaded this morning by four Civil Police officers. The accusation: an anonymous tip left at their “0800” phone line stating that he had in his possession arms and drugs.
The activist who lives in the outskirts of the Greater City of São Paulo, in Taboão da Serra, was shocked when these officers arrived at his residence, holding automatic weapons and asking that he come out with his hands up. He was frisked and then the police officers entered his home without a search warrant or an order to make an arrest. His room was completely turned upside down and many documents were taken, amongst them meeting minutes, political pamphlets, and Independent Media Center paper-printed articles. His computer was also confiscated. According to police representatives from Taboão, there was nothing illegal with the entrance in that home because the suspect had given his permition for the search. However, according to A.S. the authorization was “obtained” from him by an officer requesting it while holding a gun pointed to his head.
According to the anonymous tip given to police, A.S. was supposedly involved with guerrillas and terrorism and had received money and arms at about 6:00 p.m. the day before the arrest. The accusation indicated that he was involved with terrorist attacks, that he kept himself armed, and wore a bullet-proof vest and that he has guerrilla warfare manuals inside his residence. The activist is part of the anti-globalization movement and belongs to a political organization in his neighborhood - he denies all allegations against him which he considers completely absurd.
The activist A.S. was taken to the sectional police station of Taboão da Serra in a DEMACRO police security vehicle and later interrogated. The police officers also tried to photograph the activist, to which the activist did not agree, citing that this would be a violation of his civil rights. The police officers threatened him, telling him that his picture would be taken with or without his consent - "por bem ou por mal". This measure is reminiscent of that of GRADI agents which took pictures of protestors apprehended during the A20 demonstration (please see the article: http://www.midiaindependente.org/front.php3?article_id=13084&group=webcast).
Again, forced by threats, the activist conceded and had his photo taken with holding a number sign containing his national citizen ID number written on it (this measure is only permitted by law after a person has been judged and convicted in a court of law).
Activist A. S. suspects that his picture will be sent to GRADI to be added to the well known "intolerance crime files ".
Tomorrow, at 2:00 p.m., he is suppose to be interrogated again. The sheriff responsible for this case, Mr. Gilson Leite Campinas, was not to be located by the Independent Media Center/Brazil to provide any explanations about the goings on.