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UN Investigator Condemns Killings by Brazilian Police

A U.N. investigator says police in Brazil frequently kill criminal suspects without trial in the name of cracking down on crime.

Philip Alston, the U.N. special investigator on extrajudicial executions, told reporters in Brasilia Wednesday that police routinely report suspects were killed while resisting arrest.

However, he said each of the killings should be investigated as a potential murder.

Alston said police in Rio De Janeiro killed 694 people during the first six months of this year. He characterized most of the killings as extrajudicial executions.

Alston was investigating police violence at the invitation of Brazil's government.

The investigator also recommended better protection for witnesses, among other reforms. Alston plans to file a final report on his investigation in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.