News

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.

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