News

ACJR takes JICS delegation on an oversight study tour to London, UK
Author: Gwen
Published: May 12, 2017

From 8 to 12 May 2017, ACJR staff Lukas Muntingh and Gwen Dereymaeker took a delegation of the South African Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) to London, United Kingdom, on a study tour. The objective of the study tour was to engage with UK oversoght institutions to identify successes and challenges in the South African prison oversight structure.

Gwen Dereymaeker presents paper the 6th YCC Annual Conference at Koç University (Turkey)
Author: Gwen
Published: Apr 30, 2017

ACJR researcher Gwen Dereymaeker presented a paper on the constitutional compliance with international human rights law and the criminal justice process at the 6th Annual Conference of the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society for Comparative Law, which took place at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.

CSPRI to change name to ACJR on 18 April 2017
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 22, 2017

The Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) was established in 2003 to address the research and advocacy gaps around imprisonment and human rights in South Africa. Since the late 2000s the project expanded its scope geographically as well as thematically. ‘Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative’ no longer reflects its work and the name is to be changed to ‘Africa Criminal Justice Reform’ and will be referred to as Organisation pour la Réforme de la Justice Pénale en Afrique (in French) and Organização para a Reforma da Justiça Criminal em África (in Portuguese).

CSPRI reports on constitutionality in five countries
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 11, 2016

To what extent do countries make constitutional rights real in law? CSPRI has published reports on 5 African countries as well as a comparative report on the question of the extent to which countries ensure their laws are in accordance with their recently adopted constitutions.

Police allocate additional resources to townships ahead of equality case
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 05, 2016

Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, the Western Cape Commissioner of Police, has announced that an additional 1140 police officials will be deployed in the Western Cape, with 790 being deployed in seven priority areas, including Khayelitsha, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Harare, Manenberg, Nyanga and Mfuleni. The relatively low allocation of resources to these and other township areas is the subject of a case currently before the Equality Court, for which CSPRI researcher Jean Redpath is an expert witness.

CSPRI-PPJA hosts workshop on constitutionality and indicators
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 30, 2016

Figuring out where reforms should be targeted requires a thorough understanding of human rights and how those are reflected in national constitutions. Measuring the progress of reform efforts requires an understanding of indicators and measurement. A CSRPI-PPJA workshop held in June 2016 aimed to raise the bar on both.

Kenya's National Council on the Administration of Justice validates audit
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 15, 2016

At a seminar held in Nairobi, representatives from the National Council heard the findings, provided input and validated the finalisation of a comprehensive audit of the criminal justice system in Kenya. The report was prepared by Legal Resources Foundation Kenya, Resources Oriented Development Initiative Kenya, and CSPRI.

Pardons provide temporary relief for overcrowding in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 13, 2016

Around 1000 prisoners were pardoned by the President during his State of the Nation address in December 2015. While these pardons offer temporary relief for the overburdened penitentiary system, implementation of more comprehensive measures, which form part of ongoing legal reform, will be necessary to effect real change.

Paper on arrest in Africa released
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2015

PPJA has released a paper exploring the issues around arrest in Africa. The paper considers the historical roots of policing in Africa and how these have been translated in the post-colonial context. The paper suggests not all people are at an equal risk of arrest, but rather that it is the poor, powerless and out-groups that are at a higher risk of arrest. The report concludes with a number of recommendations, calling for further research, decriminalisation of certain offences, and restructuring of the police in African countries.

High Court rules against prisoners in torture damages claim
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 07, 2015

Judgment was recently handed down by the Port Elizabeth High Court in the much publicised St Alban’s case, as it became known, which emanates from an alleged mass assault of prisoners at the St Alban’s prisons in Port Elizabeth in July 2005.

"Long list" of indicators proposed toward pre-trial justice in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 10, 2015

At a seminar held in Cape Town in May 2015, participants from PPJA partner organisations discussed indicators for measuring pre-trial justice in Africa. A "long-list" of draft proposed indicators was agreed upon by the end of the seminar. Further consultations are planned to expand the extent of consultation and to refine the proposed indicators.

Malawi launches new criminal justice case flow system
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 31, 2015

Mobile training unit members were trained in the last week of July 2015 on the new registers, case folders and court diary, designed to ensure pre-trial detainees do not get "lost" and that time limits in the criminal justice system are met.

CSPRI co-hosts seminar on allocation of policing resources in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 24, 2015

The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry recommended that the South African Police Service (SAPS) review the allocation of police resources across South Africa, after finding that the comparative allocation to Khayelitsha compared to other policing areas was irrational and unjust. To date neither the relevant Minister nor the SAPS has responded to the Commission Report.

CSPRI co-hosts seminar on allocation of policing resources in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 24, 2015

The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry recommended that the South African Police Service (SAPS) review the allocation of police resources across South Africa, after finding that the comparative allocation to Khayelitsha compared to other policing areas was irrational and unjust. To date neither the relevant Minister nor the SAPS has responded to the Commission Report.

CSPRI works with LRF and RODI-KENYA on pre-trial audit
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 20, 2015

In June and July 2015 CSPRI worked with the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) - Kenya, and Resource Oriented Development Initiative (RODI) toward commencing their work for Kenya's National Council on the Administration of Justice.

CSPRI contributes to development of General Comment on Article 5
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 08, 2015

At the 56th ACHPR Ordinary Session, which was held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 21 April to 7 May 2015, the ACHPR Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) decided that its first General Comment on Article 5 and the prevention and prohibition of torture would examine the right to redress for victims of torture and other ill-treatment.

O Governo Angolano prende jovens activistas políticos e defensores de direitos humanos em Angola
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 24, 2015

No Sábado dia 20 de Junho, os Serviços de Investigação Criminal (SIC) e a Polícia Nacional prenderam e encarceraram treze jovens activistas políticos e defensores de direitos humanos, numa residência onde discutiam questões políticas relacionadas com o estado da democracia em Angola. Depois de serem presos cada um deles foi levado para a sua residência algemados e a polícia fez buscas e confiscou equipamento informático e documentos, nomeadamente; computadores, máquinas fotográficas, agendas pessoais, revistas, documentos vários e cartões de recarga telefónica que encontraram. Muitos destes equipamentos e documentos são pertença de membros da família. A operação policial aconteceu sem qualquer “mandado de prisão ou de busca” e muitas vezes a polícia armada usou violência para entrar nas residências.

Toward indicators for measuring pre-trial detention in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 24, 2015

For most development issues, indicators are adopted both to measure progress and to galvanise action. For example, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which ranged from halving extreme poverty rates to providing universal primary education by the target date of 2015 – formed a blueprint which was agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions, and succeeded in galvanising unprecedented efforts toward meeting the needs of the world’s poorest.

Testimony in St.Alban's prison torture case
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 03, 2015

Lukas Muntingh has testified on the position of St. Alban's prison within the South African Department of Correctional Services in the civil lawsuit brought by 231 inmates from St Albans prison, which resumed in the Port Elizabeth High Court on 2 February 2015.

Mozambique promulgates new Penal Code
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 31, 2014

Constitutional amendments of 1990 and 2004 meant that the Criminal Code of 1886 no longer was in line with the political, social, cultural and economic reality of Mozambique. This revision of the of Criminal Code is intended to ensure the enjoyment of rights and freedoms of citizens.

Mozambique Pre-trial Detention Audit results launched
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 15, 2014

Results of an audit of pre-trial detention in Mozambique, carried out by Liga Moçambicana dos Direitos Humanos (the Mozambique Human Rights League) and CSPRI at the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape, were presented at a seminar on 11 and 12 September 2014 in Maputo.

Mozambique Pre-trial Detention Audit results launched in Maputo
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 14, 2014

Results of an audit of pre-trial detention in Mozambique, carried out by Liga Moçambicana dos Direitos Humanos (the Mozambique Human Rights League) and CSPRI at the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape, were presented at a seminar on 11 and 12 September 2014 in Maputo.

A5I torture prevention seminars in Cape Town and Burundi
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 21, 2014

The aim of the fourth workshop in South Africa was to consult on the draft Plan of Action developed during the third consultations, and obtain buy-in from key represented stakeholders, while in Burundi the fourth workshop was focussed on preparing for reporting in the upcoming review of Burundi by the UN Committee against Torture. The seminars took place 8-9 on July 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa and 18-20 August 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Are civil damages appropriate redress for torture or do they encourage impunity?
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 17, 2014

Gwenaelle Dereymaeker presented a paper entitled "When civil damages replace prosecutions for violence committed by law enforcement officials: effective accountability or de facto impunity?" at the Fifth International Conference: National and International Perspectives on Crime Reduction and Criminal Justice, held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 and 15 August 2014.

Longer remand detention and fewer convictions
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 16, 2014

Jean Redpath presented a paper on remand detention trends in South Africa at the Fifth International Conference: National and International Perspectives on Crime Reduction and Criminal Justice, held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 and 15 August 2014.

Promoting soft law on pre-trial justice in Lusaphone Africa
Author: Jean
Published: May 23, 2014

CSPRI-PPJA in partnership with the Mozambican Institute of Legal Aid (Insituto Patrocinio Assistencia Juridica, IPAJ) held a wokshop on 21 and 22 May 2014 to promote two new international soft law instruments on access to justice and pre-trial detention in Africa.

Unjust allocation of police human resources highlighted
Author: Jean
Published: May 13, 2014

Jean Redpath gave evidence at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Inefficiency and a Breakdown in Relations between the South African Police Service and and the Community in Khayelitsha in May 2014 regarding the relative allocation of police human resources among police stations in the Western Cape.

Malawi works toward implementing custody time limits
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 30, 2013

Malawi's Constitution and amended Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code provide for time limits applicable to various stages of the criminal justice process, after which an accused person is no longer lawfully detained.

South Africa's Torture Act promulgated
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 26, 2013

South Africa's President Zuma signed the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act No. 13 of 2013 into law on 25 July 2013.

CLC senior researcher presents at Public Interest Law Gathering
Author: jacob
Published: Jul 12, 2013

On 12 July 2013, Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative’s Clare Ballard from the Community Law Centre delivered a presentation at the Public Interest Law Gathering (PILG) about judicial oversight in relation to the various forms of detention and the importance of the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture.

CSPRI’s Jean Redpath on SAfm
Author: jacob
Published: Jul 10, 2013

Senior researcher at the Community Law Centre, Jean Redpath on national radio, debating whether the National Prosecuting Authority is fulfilling its mandate.

SALC and CHREAA launch study on nuisance-related arrests
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 09, 2013

The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and Malawi's Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) launched a report at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe on their study of the law and practice relating to arrests for nuisance-related offences in Blantyre, Malawi. Senior judges and magistrates were in attendance at the launch, and Justice Edward Twea gave the keynote address.

CSPRI hosts a roundtable on remand detention
Author: Jean
Published: May 27, 2013

The Chief Deputy Commissioner for Remand in the Department of Correctional Services, Ms Britta Rotmann, explained the thinking behind the final draft white paper on remand detention at a roundtable in Cape Town on 23 May 2013.

Arrest and detention of human rights defender in Chad
Author: Jean
Published: May 12, 2013

The organisation Front Line Defenders reported on 8 May 2012 that radio journalist and human rights defender Eric Topona was arrested and taken to prison after appearing before an investigating magistrate in N'Djamena and charged with “threatening the constitutional order”.

Rampant abuses after coup in Central African Republic, says Human Rights Watch
Author: Jean
Published: May 10, 2013

Members of the Seleka rebel coalition, which ousted President François Bozizé of the Central African Republic on March 24, 2013, have committed grave violations against civilians, including pillage, summary executions, rape, and torture, Human Rights Watch said on 10 May 2013.

10 000 Eritrean political prisoners 20 years after independence, says Amnesty
Author: Jean
Published: May 09, 2013

Amnesty International said in a report released on 9 May 2013 that Eritrea's prisons are filled with thousands of political prisoners, locked up without ever being charged with a crime, many of whom are never heard from again. Those detained include government critics, journalists and people practising an unregistered religion, as well as people trying to leave the country or avoid indefinite conscription into national service.

South Africa's white paper on remand detention management finalised
Author: Jean
Published: May 09, 2013

The final draft of the South African government's White Paper on Remand Detention Management has been published on the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) website, bringing the policy framework in line with provisions in Correctional Matters Amendment Act. The White Paper marks the end of a process aimed at closing a policy gap in the 2005 White Paper on Corrections in respect of awaiting-trial detainees.

Ex-prisoners speak of abuses in secret Bossembele prison
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 11, 2013

Bossembele, known by some as "Guantanamo" of the Central African Republic, is one of Africa's most secret prisons, where ousted president Francois Bozize allegedly had his opponents jailed and tortured for years. A alliance of rebel groups known as Seleka captured Bossembele and freed all prisoners as they moved against Bozize in March 2013. Al Jazeera gained access to the prison in April 2013.

Outdated offence used to arrest Zambian activist
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 11, 2013

An activist has been arrested in Zambia for "inciting the public to take part in indecent activities" authorities have said. This offence was adopted in Zambia in 1898 via England's Vagrancy Act of 1824. Activist Paul Kasonkomona was arrested immediately after appearing on a live television show on Sunday 7 April. In the show he outlined measures to combat HIV, which he argued included the decriminalisation of same-sex acts.

Conditions improve at Maputo Central Prison
Author: Karel
Published: Mar 13, 2013

Maputo Central Prison (Cadeia Central de Maputo) is the largest prison in Mozambique. It is notoriously overcrowded and conditions have in the recent past been noted to be less than ideal. During a visit to the prison on 12 February 2013 by the Human Rights League (Liga dos Direitos Humanos) and CSPRI, it was apparent that although the prison still houses more than the number for which it was designed, recent improvements have ameliorated the situation.

Condições de vida melhoram na Cadeia Central de Maputo
Author: Karel
Published: Mar 13, 2013

A Cadeia Central de Maputo é a maior prisão em Moçambique. Està superlotada e as condicoes de vida que se observavam num passado recente nao eram as ideais. Durante uma visita à prisão a 12 de Fevereiro de 2013 feita pela Liga dos Direitos Humanos e a Organização da Sociedade Civil sobre a Iniciativa de Reformas Prisionais (Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative, CSPRI), foi evidente que, embora a prisão ainda abriga mais do que o número para o qual foi concebida, os recentes avanços têm melhorado a situação.

Man dragged 400m by South African Police vehicle dies in detention
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 11, 2013

The man, a 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver identified as Mido Macia, in detention of head injuries and internal bleeding, according to an initial post mortem report. The incident was captured on video by bystanders. The video shows the man scuffling with police, who subdue him. He is then bound to the back of the pick-up by his arms before the vehicle drives off in front of scores of witnesses in the east Johannesburg area of Daveyton. Nine policemen have been arrested and charged with murder.

Journalist detained by security agents in Mali
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 08, 2013

The African Press Organization (APO) reports that state security agents in Mali detained an editor on 7 March 2013 in connection with his newspaper’s publication of an open letter criticizing a financial package awarded to a former coup leader.

A5I expert review meetings in Cape Town and Bujumbura
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 25, 2013

The aim of the second set of workshops was to receive feedback from designated expert reviewers, who reviewed completed DIPs. The DIPS has been completed by A5I staff. Participants met on 5-6 February 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa and 20-21 February 2013 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Amnesty report cites abuse of criminal justice in Cameroon
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 24, 2013

A new report by Amnesty claims the Cameroon authorities have engaged in unlawful killings and torture as the authorities seek to use the criminal justice system to clamp down on political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists and sexual minorities.

SA Constitutional Court finds government liable for prisoner contracting TB in pre-trial detention
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 11, 2012

Mr Lee was detained at Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison in pre-trial detention from 1999 to 2004, appearing in court no fewer than 70 times. Mr Lee contracted TB while in prison. The court found there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity. The court further found there is a probable chain of causation between the negligent omissions by the responsible authorities and Mr Lee’s infection with TB. The case was remitted to the High Court to determine the amount of damages.

SA Constitutional Court finds government liable for prisoner contracting TB in pre-trial detention
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 11, 2012

Mr Lee, was detained at Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison in pre-trial detention from 1999 to 2004, appearing in court no fewer than 70 times. Mr Lee contracted TB while in prison. The court found there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity. The court further found there is a probable chain of causation between the negligent omissions by the responsible authorities and Mr Lee’s infection with TB. The case was remitted to the High Court to determine the amount of damages.

CSPRI makes submission to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 17, 2012

On 12 October 2012, CSPRI made a submission to the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha. This Commission was set up by the Western Cape Premier in August 2012, following allegations from civil society that there was systemic failure by the SAPS in Khayelitsha to prevent, combat and investigate crime, take statements, open cases and apprehend criminals, resulting in a breakdown in relations between the community and the police.

Majority of Cameroon's prisoners are awaiting trial, says Avocats sans Frontières
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 15, 2012

A study by the Cameroon branch of Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) revealed 60 per cent of prisoners are awaiting trial. reports Africa Review. ASF Cameroon wants authorities to end suspects’ continued serving of “illegal” and “unending” jail terms, which contravene Cameroon and international law.

Pre-trial guidelines to be introduced at African Commission
Author: Karel
Published: Oct 08, 2012

Civil society hopes to introduce Guidelines on the Use and Conditions of Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa to the 52nd session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights being held in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire from 9 - 22 October 2012. It is hoped the Commission will eventually adopt the guidelines as a resolution of the Commission.

Amnesty releases report alleging torture by Rwandan military
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 08, 2012

On 8 October 2012 Amnesty International released a report entitled "Shrouded in Secrecy: Illegal Detention and torture by Military Intelligence". The report alleges that dozens of people suspected of "threatening national security" have been held in a network of secret detention facilities run by the military.

CSPRI makes submissions to Parliament on the annual reports of DCS and JICS
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 08, 2012

CSPRI has prepared submissions to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services on the annual reports of the Department of Correctional Services and the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services. The Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services will hear stakeholders on the annual reports of DCS and JICS on Wednesday 10 October at 14h.

Seven Kenyans detained for three years in Uganda
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 04, 2012

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) on 4 October 2012 released a statement calling on the government of Kenya to address the plight of seven Kenyans arrested by their own government, and illegally renditioned to Uganda to face terrorism-related charges. MUHURI was able to visit the Kenyans detained in Uganda through the assistance of the Uganda Prison Service hosting the African Correctional Services Association Conference in Kampala.

Supplementary Guidelines on Health Conditions in Prisons
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 02, 2012

Riccardo Conti, head of the Uganda delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) presented the ICRC supplementary guidelines on prison conditions to the African Correctional Services Association Conference held in Kampala, Uganda.

Uganda claims criminal justice improvements through better co-ordination
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 02, 2012

The Principal Judge of Uganda, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine on behalf of the Chief Justice of Uganda, presented a paper at the African Correctional Services Association Biennial Conference in Kampala, Uganda, which suggests there has been vast improvement in the operation of the criminal justice system in Uganda through the implementation of the Justice Law & Order Sector (JLOS) Programme since 1999.

Kenya tackles prisons as source of HIV infection in Kenya
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 02, 2012

Regina Ombam, the Head of Strategy Development of the National Aids Control Council Kenya shared the evidence on HIV/AIDS in prisons in Kenya and the important measures which have been taken in Kenya to address the situation at the African Correctional Services Assocation Conference in Kampala, Uganda.

Togo's prison conditions lead to deaths
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 06, 2012

Togo has only twelve prisons, which on average hold more than twice their capacity. The crowded conditions exacerbate poor hygiene, food, medical care, leading to disease and death.

"We are all dying here": prisons in Chad
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 06, 2012

The African Press Organization reports that an Amnesty International Report on Chad to be released on 10 September will detail human rights violations in prison in Chad

Nigerian prisons filled with awaiting trial detainees
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 06, 2012

Over-population in the Nigerian prison system has been identified as the challenge to prison reform. More than 70 per cent of over 50,000 inmates across the country are awaiting trial.

Querying colleague's arrest leads to journalist's death
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 03, 2012

Prominent journalist, Daudi Mwangosi, died on Sunday, 2 September 2012 while covering clashes between the police and members of Tanzania's largest opposition political party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema).

A5I consultation meetings in Bujumbura and Pretoria
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 30, 2012

The aim of these initial workshops was to bring together stakeholders from government, NHRIs and civil society organisations of each respective country to discuss the contents of the UNCAT and to present the draft Domestication and Implementation Package (DIP). Participants met in Bujumbura, Burundi, on 8-9 August 2012 and Pretoria, South Africa, on 28-29 August 2012.

"How the law on police use of deadly force is weakened" - by Clare Ballard
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 24, 2012

On Thursday 16 August 2012, 36 miners were killed by South African Police Services officials at Marikana mine in Mpumalanga. The violence arose out of a protracted labour dispute involving rival labour unions and Lonmin management. The final death toll of the week of 13 August 2012 is close to 50. Clare Ballard argues that the recent amendment of section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, now awaiting the President’s signature, has weakened protection by significantly broadening the grounds on which the use of deadly force may be used and justified. She states that having constitutionally compliant legislation will not fix the seemingly endemic problems within the SAPS, nor will it repair its damaged reputation. What it can do, however, is strike the best the balance between undoubtedly complicated policing concerns, public safety and the rights to life, freedom from violence and dignity.

Sudan political detainees released
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 17, 2012

A number of political detainees including opposition figures who were arrested as part of a major crackdown last month were released after more than a month in detention. It is unclear whether any were actually charged. Some detainees had spent more than two months in detention.

Only three percent of new cases tried in a year in Liberia
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 13, 2012

A report by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on Liberia's justice system has revealed that only 3 per cent of cases docketed in the Circuit Courts in 2010 went to trial, leaving thousands awaiting trial in the country's prisons.

Bangui prison destroyed; detainees escape
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 05, 2012

Among those no longer held in the prison include Briton and his colleagues charged with ritual killing of thirteen people held since April 2012

New Provisional Somalian Constitution approved
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 02, 2012

On 1 August 2012 Somalia's 825-member National Constituent Assembly (NCA) approved a new constitution for the country by a large majority. Traditional elders, who had selected the NCA members in a process backed by the United Nations, will also choose a new parliament, which in turn is scheduled to choose Somalia's new leader on August 20, when the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government expires.

CSPRI makes submissions to Parliament on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 01, 2012

On 31 July 2012, CSPRI sent in the following submissions to Parliament on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill. These submissions represent the views of a group of organisations (listed in the document) and address, primarily, whether the contents of the Bill comply fully with the obligations imposed on the state in terms of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). These submissions also include recommendations on what the Bill should include and / or exclude as well as suggestions on how the text could be amended. CSPRI will be addressing the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development at the public hearings on 4 September 2012.

Immigration detention crisis on Mayotte
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 19, 2012

Nearly 25,000 Comorians are deported from Mayotte each year, and only after enduring poor detention conditions, claims PressTV, Paris. In addition fatal boating accidents kill on average two people per day, claims the network.

Human rights workers detained in Sudan
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 16, 2012

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has brought attention to the arrest and continued detention without charge by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) between 23 June and 12 July 2012 in Khartoum of eleven human rights workers.

"Elbow Licking Friday" brutal arrests in Sudan
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 05, 2012

The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists condemned in a press release acts of the Sudanese authorities against demonstrations that took place in many parts of Sudan on Friday June 29. The organisation alleges security forces launched an arrest campaign against activists and media representatives, with many being detained in unknown locations.

Gambian journalist still missing after arrest in 2006
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 05, 2012

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on 5 June 2012 called on the governments of the United States of America and The Gambia to disclose information about the whereabouts of missing Gambian journalist "Chief" Ebrima Manneh who has not been seen since his arrested on 11 July 2006 by the Gambia Police Force of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

"Corruption" judge appointed to reduce delays
Author: Jean
Published: May 30, 2012

Raising constitutional issues leads to delays in corruption cases; appointment of High Court judge to deal with these matters is hoped to reduce delays.

Launch of the Report on Children in Prison in South Africa
Author: Gwen
Published: May 30, 2012

On 28 May, Lukas Muntingh and Clare Ballard launched CSPRI's latest research report during a workshop held in Cape Town. The report is an update to the situational analysis of the children in prison in South Africa. The launch brought together many stakeholders in the field of child justice and allowed for interesting exchanges on the current challenges faced by children in conflict with the law.

Algerian prisons seek to educate
Author: Jean
Published: May 17, 2012

ANSAmed reports on the strategies of the Algerian Penitentiary Administration in seeking to educate its youthful detainees.

New Legal Aid Law in Sierra Leone
Author: Jean
Published: May 12, 2012

Sierra Leone’s parliament has just enacted a legal aid law which provides for the role of paralegals.

Malik Medjnoune finally released
Author: Jean
Published: May 05, 2012

Malik Medjnoune was held for 12 years in pre-trial detention until international pressure from Amensty International and Alkarama, an Arab human rights organisation, forced a one-day "trial" in July 2011. He was released in May 2012, having served the full 12 years of the sentence handed down.

Rwandan Mpanga International Prison commended
Author: Jean
Published: May 05, 2012

Employees of the US Embassy in Kigali have commended the Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) for promoting better and safer environment for inmates of this prison.

Three detainees die in Misrata; UN Mission expresses concern at suspected torture
Author: Jean
Published: May 03, 2012

UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has expressed concern to Libya's authorities over the deaths of three people in a detention centre in the north-western city of Misrata on 13 April 2012, saying it believes that the deaths were the result of torture. Most detainees are alleged Gadaffi sympathizers. Meanwhile, the Libyan authorities pass a number of new laws criminalizing opposition to the revolution.

Cape Town man beaten to death in police cells
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 23, 2012

A 48-year-old man arrested for being drunk in public was beaten to death in a Durbanville, Cape Town, police cell in the early hours of Saturday 21 April 2012.

Campaign to repeal outdated offences launched
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 18, 2012

At the 51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, Promoting Pre-trial Justice in Africa (PPJA) is launching a campaign for the repeal of outdated offences.

Submission to the 51st Ordinary Session of the ACHPR
Author: Berber
Published: Apr 18, 2012

On 18 April 2012, the Community Law Centre delivered a submission to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The submission dealt with three issues, namely compliance with the Robben Island Guidelines, domestic oversight over places of detention and limiting the use of pre-trial detention.

Police Arrest Swazi Protest Leaders on Anniversary of Constitution
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 13, 2012

Demonstrations are being held across Swaziland calling for democratic reforms in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. The anniversary of the Swazi Constitution prompts annual protests in the kingdom.

Uganda detention without trial questioned
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 12, 2012

The Uganda High Court in early April 2012 released four men who had been facing terrorism charges since the September 2009 Buganda riots. The Observer newspaper questions in an editorial why the men were kept in detention for 30 months when there was no evidence with which to try them.

'Kenya police detain and kill with impunity'
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 11, 2012

The Release Political Prisoners (RPP) Trust, a lobby group, claims to have documented at least 35 cases of extra-judicial killings committed since December 2011.

New Malawi President fires Police Chief
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 10, 2012

Human rights groups welcomed the decision by Joyce Banda, who succeeded Bingu wa Mutharika on Saturday 7 March after his death from a heart attack.

CSPRI Researcher writes comment on prominent 'torture' case
Author: Berber
Published: Mar 25, 2012

On 25 March, Clare Ballard wrote an opinion editorial on a case being heard by the North Gauteng High Court, in which the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Zimbabwean Exiles Forum have applied for the review of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Services' decision not to investigate or prosecute Zimbabwean officials, resident in South Africa from time to time, for alleged act of torture carried out on MDC supporters in March 2007.

Malawi Human Rights Commissioner Arrested, Police Crackdown
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 20, 2012

John Kapito, the Chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, was detained on Friday 16 March by eight policemen who accused him of possessing guns, holding seditious meetings and printing seditious T-shirts, which insulted President Bingu wa Mutharika. On Sunday security forces prevented people from attending an opposition meeting, leading to violence.

'Mozambique needs more judges'
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 15, 2012

The President of Mozambique's Supreme Court, Ozias Pondja, on 13 March 2012 said that the country needs to train more judges, since the 293 who currently exist are insufficient to meet the growing pressure on the courts.

Cunene court suffers backlogs, poor infrastucture
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 14, 2012

Poor court infrastructure is contributing to poor performance of the court system in Cunene, says the presiding judge. The Minister of Justice for Courts has promised improvements this year.

Angolan police target newspaper and 'break up demonstrations'
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 14, 2012

On 12 March 2012 Angolan police seized 20 computers from the offices of the publication 'Folha 8' and questioned its editor two days after attempts to stage demonstrations in the Luanda and Benguela were broken up by armed gangs and heavily armed police.

Torture continues for Libyan detainees
Author: Karel
Published: Mar 12, 2012

A report released by Amnesty International in February 2012 says that a year after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's militias are "largely out of control", with the use of torture ubiquitous and the country's new rulers unable – or unwilling – to prevent abuses.

Torture continues for Libyan detainees
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 12, 2012

A report released by Amnesty International in February 2012 says that a year after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's militias are "largely out of control", with the use of torture ubiquitous and the country's new rulers unable – or unwilling – to prevent abuses.

Shortage of translators at Johannesburg Magistrates' Courts
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 12, 2012

More than half of the cases heard on a daily basis in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and its ten satellite courts demand foreign language translators, and there are not enough of them to meet demand, reports Beeld newspaper.

Detention of doctor leads to suspension of Obiang prize
Author: Karel
Published: Mar 06, 2012

UNESCO was in the process of awarding a prize purportedly for "research in the life sciences" to be sponsored by President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. His administration's unjustified detention of Wenceslao Mansongo Alo, a doctor critical of his government, has lead to UNESCO suspending acceptance of President Obiang's sponsorship, after the detention was brought to their attention. UNESCO is due to decide on the prize at its meeting in Paris, France.

Detention of doctor leads to suspension of Obiang prize
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 06, 2012

UNESCO was in the process of awarding a prize purportedly for "research in the life sciences" to be sponsored by President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. His administration's unjustified detention of Wenceslao Mansongo Alo, a doctor critical of his government, has lead to UNESCO suspending acceptance of President Obiang's sponsorship, after the detention was brought to their attention. UNESCO is due to decide on the prize at its meeting in Paris, France.

Water in Zambian prisons cut-off
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 23, 2012

THE Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company yesterday disconnected water supply to all prisons in Central province to recover more than K200million (US$38000) owed in water bills, placing prisoners lives in jeopardy.

Malawi human rights lawyer Kasambara detained
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 21, 2012

Ralph Kasambara, former Attorney-General and lawyer who has brought many of the most recent important human rights or rule of law cases in Malawi to court, has been detained in prison after defending himself from petrol bombers.

Congo Minister spends New Year with young inmates
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2012

The Minister of Youth and Civic Education in Republic of the Congo, Anatole Collinet Makosso, spent New Year's day with young offenders in Brazzaville prison and delivered civic education materials to the prison.

Article 5 Initiative launched at old Breakwater Prison
Author: Berber
Published: Dec 15, 2011

On 13 December, following International Human Rights Day, the Article 5 Initiative (A5I) was launched at the Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town. The Article 5 Initiative aims to support African institutions to improve domestic compliance with international law obligations, norms and procedures under the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).

WaterAid launches handwashing project in Burkina prisons
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 29, 2011

The "Clean hands in prison" campaign is focused on raising awareness on the importance of washing hands, reducing the prevalence and transmission rates of diseases brought about by a lack of hygiene and sanitation in jails.

Chief Justice of Nigeria criticises use of holding charges
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 16, 2011

Top judge condemns the practice of filing holding charges against accused persons and “trial by public parade of suspects on pages of newspapers and on the television” and blames the practice for congestion in prisons.

Guinea paralegals detained and intimidated
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 11, 2011

Human Rights Watch called on the Guinean government to investigate the role of two high-level officials in the apparent illegal detention and intimidation of members of a prominent Guinean human rights group.

'Detention used to stifle dissent in Uganda'
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 09, 2011

Amnesty International released a report on 1 November 2011 which accuses the Ugandan state of targeting critical journalists, civil society activists and opposition political leaders with "arbitrary arrest, intimidation, threats and politically motivated criminal charges".

Volcano threatens Goma prison
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 09, 2011

Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, began erupting on the night of 6 November 2011.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Oct 01, 2011

The October 2011 edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku is now available on our website. "30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku" covers domestic and major international media reporting on prison related issues sourced from press reviews, newspapers and websites.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 01, 2011

The September 2011 edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku is now available on our website. "30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku" covers domestic and major international media reporting on prison related issues sourced from press reviews, newspapers and websites.

Submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill B39-2010
Author: calitz
Published: Aug 24, 2011

On 24 August, CSPRI researcher, Clare Ballard, presented a submission to the Portfolio Committee for Justice and Constitutional Development on the proposed amendments to the ‘use of deadly force’ provisions in the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Aug 01, 2011

The August 2011 edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku is now available on our website. "30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku" covers domestic and major international media reporting on prison related issues sourced from press reviews, newspapers and websites.

International Tribunal refers prosecution to Rwanda
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 28, 2011

The prosecution of Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi, a former Pentecostal pastor, who allegedly led multiple attacks on ethnic Tutsis, including a massacre at Kayenzi Church in July 1994, has been referred by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to the Rwanda court system in terms of a UN resolution aimed at empowering national judicial systems to promote the rule of law.

Illegal immigrants die in Gabon detention
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 17, 2011

Agence France Press (AFP) reports that three illegal immigrants died in detention, possibly of cholera, after being expelled from an illegal gold mine.

Ten suffocate in detention in Chad
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 03, 2010

Forty-seven villagers were arrested by police in connection with the death of a village chief who had been implicated in child abduction cases.

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