The threats are real - the authorities must act now!

'This was an incident waiting to happen, given the failure of the police to thoroughly investigate previous incidents of this nature and to bring those responsible to justice,' Javier Zúñiga added.

Other human rights groups in São Paulo such as Tortura nunca mais, ACAT and gay and lesbian support groups have also received similar threats as part of a sustained hate campaign orchestrated by a self-proclaimed neo-nazi group.

The wholly inadequate response by the state and federal authorities has allowed this campaign of hate to reach this present crisis, exposing all those who have received threats to grave danger.

'It is now time for a swift and effective investigation, supported with adequate funds and political willpower, so that those responsible are apprehended and brought to justice,' Mr Zúñiga said, adding that the authorities should immediately provide protection measures in agreement with those at risk.

'These threats will not diminish our dedication to working on human rights cases in Brazil,' Javier Zúñiga stressed.

Background The bomb sent to the home of an Amnesty International employee is the second which has been sent to Amnesty International in São Paulo since October 1999, and comes as part of a sustained hate campaign orchestrated by neo-nazi groups. Over the last year he has received several threats and was physically attacked once as a result of Amnesty International's work on behalf of the rights of gay and lesbian groups in São Paulo.

Amnesty International has had no information of any progress in the investigation to stop the threat or arrest those responsible for the threats, from the special police force which has been set up to investigate 'hate crimes' in São Paulo.

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