US Department of State Human Rights Report Central African Republic 2011

"Prison conditions were rudimentary, harsh, and substantially below international standards. Prison conditions outside Bangui generally were worse than those in the capital. Police, gendarme investigators, and presidential guards assigned as prison wardens continued to subject prison inmates to torture and other forms of inhuman, cruel, and degrading treatment. Most prisons lacked basic sanitation and ventilation, electric lighting, basic and emergency medical care, and sufficient access to potable water....According to BINUCA arbitrary arrest was a serious problem and was the most common human rights abuse committed by security forces during the year. Authorities continued to arrest individuals, particularly women, and charge them with witchcraft, an offense punishable by execution, although no one received the death penalty during the year. Prison officials at Bimbo Central Prison for women stated that accused witches were detained for their own safety, since village mobs sometimes killed suspected witches...Prolonged pretrial detention was a serious problem. For example, in November pretrial detainees constituted approximately 70 percent of Ngaragba Prison’s population and an estimated 60 percent of Bimbo Central Prison’s population. Detainees usually were informed of the charges against them; however, many waited in prison for several months before seeing a judge. Judicial inefficiency and corruption, as well as a shortage of judges and severe financial constraints on the judicial system, contributed to pretrial delays. Some detainees remained in prison for years because of lost files and bureaucratic obstacles."

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