25 May 2010

UN Rapporteur urges PNG to stop abuse in jail

7:01 pm on 25 May 2010

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture says the Papua New Guinea Government should declare unambiguously that torture or ill treatment by police and prison staff will not be tolerated.

And Manfred Nowak says those in charge at the time of the abuses need to know they will be held accountable.

Don Wiseman has more:

"This follows a fact finding mission in which Mr Nowak found appalling conditions in prisons, detainees facing beatings which often amounted to torture and police using excessive force, even when not dealing with crime. Mr Nowak says he witnessed detainees in overcrowded, filthy cells, without proper ventilation, natural light or access to food and water. He says women were often sexually assaulted, by both police and other inmates. Mr Nowak says the conditions in the cells at the Mount Hagen Police Station were so bad it should be shut down immediately. He wants independent investigations of all allegations of ill-treatment or excessive use of force by police and prison guards and the ratification of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. He also wants to see detainees on remand separated from convicted prisoners; juveniles kept out of adult jails; proper complaints systems for inmates and the abolition of the death penalty."