A woman holds a sign that reads in Portuguese: "The war on drugs is an excuse to kill black and poor people" after the deadly police raid.
A woman holds a sign that reads in Portuguese: "The war on drugs is an excuse to kill black and poor people" after the deadly police raid.
The Associated Press

The United Nations human rights office has strongly criticised a police raid against suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro, amid allegations of abuse and extrajudicial executions, according to a BBC report.

A bloody, hours-long gunbattle echoed into Friday, with authorities saying the police mission killed two dozen criminals while residents and activists claimed human rights abuses.The deadliest police operation in the city's history has left 28 dead, including a police officer.

Residents say police killed suspects who wanted to surrender and entered homes without a warrant.

Police have denied any wrongdoing, saying officers acted in self-defence.

Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil's most violent cities, and vast areas are under the control of criminals, many of them linked to powerful drug-trafficking gangs. Security forces are often accused of disproportionate force during their anti-crime operations.

Policemen collect the drugs and weapons, allegedly seized during a police operation against drug dealers in Jacarezinho slum
Policemen collect the drugs and weapons, allegedly seized during a police operation against drug dealers in Jacarezinho slum

Thursday's raid in Jacarezinho, one of the city's largest slums known as favelas, was carried out by about 200 heavily armed police officers and included an armoured helicopter with a sniper. The area is dominated by Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, one of Brazil's largest criminal organisations.

A television helicopter filmed men jumping from rooftops, while desperate residents posted videos on social media showing intense shootouts as they claimed police had invaded their houses and used excessive violence. Two subway passengers were also injured in the gunfight.

The number of victims in a police operation reportedly became the highest since 2016, when the government began keeping such statistics.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in