Guinea Publications

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Challenges and Reforms in the Nigerian Prisons System

by Emeka E. Obioha, Department of Safety and Security Management, Tshwane University of Technology. In J Soc Sci, 27(2): 95-109 (2011). "In order to deal finally with prison congestion, this paper suggests that the decongestion committee needs to be strengthened in its work by changing their periodic visit to the prisons to be more regular and frequent, more prison yards need to be built, more non-governmental organizations should be encouraged and allowed to visit the prisons to monitor the activities there, from which they can make an input in form of suggestions to the various reform committees on what to do.

The Security Sector and Gender in West Africa

This report by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) os an attempt systematically to document the status of gender integration within the security sectors in member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Correlates of violence in Guinea’s Maison Centrale Prison: A statistical approach to documenting human rights abuses

by Ronald E Osborn, published in 'Health and Human Rights'. Les Mêmes Droits Pour Tous (MDT) is a human rights NGO in Guinea, West Africa that focuses on the rights of prisoners in Maison Centrale, the country’s largest prison located Conakry. In 2007, MDT completed a survey of the prison population to assess basic legal and human rights conditions. This article uses statistical tools to explore MDT’s survey results in greater depth, shedding light on human rights violations in Guinea.

Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons

This report is the first analysis of prison health conditions in Zambia by independent human rights organizations. In preparing this report, PRISCCA, ARASA, and Human Rights Watch interviewed 246 prisoners, eight former prisoners, 30 prison officers, and conducted facility tours at six prisons throughout the central corridor of Zambia. The purpose of this research was to understand health conditions and human rights violations in Zambian prisons, and to provide recommendations for a future which respects the basic rights and minimum standards due to prisoners.

State Violence in Chad: A statistical analysis of reported prison mortality in Chad's DDS prisons

This report documents the death of prisoners inside Chad's Direction de la Documentation et de la Securite (DDS) prisons between 1982 and 1990, and the extent to which former Chadian president Hissene Habre and senior officials within his government are responsible for human rights violations committed by the DDS. The report presents evidence which is consistent with the hypothesis that the policies and practices of Hissene Habre and senior DDS officials, whom Habre appointed, contributed to deaths in custody on a level substantially higher than the adult mortality rate of Chad at the time. The analysis tests the hypotheses that Habre had a superior-subordinate relationship with senior DDS officials and had knowledge of their actions, which resulted in substantial deaths in custody.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

"... a comprehensive law prohibiting torture and providing for the prosecution of torturers was adopted in 2006. However, on the basis of discussions with public officials, judges, lawyers and representatives of civil society, interviews with victims of violence and with persons deprived of their liberty, often supported by forensic medical evidence, he found torture by the police to be systematic in the initial period after arrest and during interrogation, including by suspension, severe beatings, electroshocks, etc. A number of cases of corporal punishment were reported to the Special Rapporteur in Malabo, Black Beach and Bata prisons. The Special Rapporteur further observes that neither safeguards against ill-treatment, nor complaints mechanisms are effective and that perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment are not prosecuted, with the exception of one case in 2007. On the contrary, in many cases, victims of torture experience a total lack of justice, which, combined with the physical and psychological consequences of ill-treatment and the absence of any rehabilitation or compensation mechanism, may cause ongoing suffering that might amount to inhuman treatment."

Human Rights and Human Dignity in Madagascar

This report by Hans Maier published by the Human Rights Office of the Pontifical Mission Society provides on overview of the human rights situation in Madagascar, including prison conditions and remand detention.

Report of the International Commission of Inquiry mandated to establish the facts and circumstances of the events of 28 September 2009 in Guinea

The Commission is in a position to confirm the identity of 156 persons who were killed or who disappeared: 67 persons killed whose bodies were returned to their families, 40 persons who were seen dead in the stadium or in morgues but whose bodies have disappeared, and 49 persons who were seen in the stadium but whose fate is unknown. It confirms that at least 109 women were subjected to rape and other sexual violence, including sexual mutilation and sexual slavery. Several women died of their wounds following particularly cruel sexual attacks. The Commission also confirms hundreds of other cases of torture or of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Dozens of persons were arrested and arbitrarily detained in the military camps of Alpha Yaya Diallo and Kundara and in the barracks of the riot police (CMIS), where they were tortured. The security forces also systematically stole demonstrators’ property and engaged in looting. The Commission considers that, during the abuses on 28 September and the immediate aftermath, the Guinean authorities deliberately embarked on destruction of the traces of the violations committed, with the aim of concealing the facts: cleaning of the stadium, removal of the bodies of the victims of executions, burial in mass graves, denial of medical care to victims, deliberate alteration of medical records and military take-over of hospitals and morgues. This operation created a climate of fear and insecurity among the population. The Commission therefore believes that the number of victims of all these violations is quite probably higher.

Roundtable Discussion on the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa Roundtable Discussion on the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa

In March 2005 the Department of Correctional Services released the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa which articulated a new 20-year vision for the correctional system. This vision articulates an antithesis of what was inherited from the previous regime. But it does raise serious questions about its attainability. Nearly five years into the implementation of the White Paper, results in respect of rehabilitation services to prisoners remain modest. The lack of budgetary alignment to the vision of the White Paper has also been remarked upon by Parliament. In many regards, conditions of detention fail to meet the minimum standards set out in the Constitution and the Correctional Services Act. This roundtable discussion focussed on a critical examination of the White Paper as a policy document and also on progress towards realising the objectives of the White Paper. Some may argue that the White Paper has made a valuable contribution by providing the Department with a new purpose and paradigm, whilst others state that meeting the minimum standards of humane detention is a pre-requisite for large scale rehabilitation services. Did the ambitious vision of the White Paper set the Department up for failure?

Roundtable discussion on oversight over the prison system Roundtable discussion on oversight over the prison system

This roundtable discussion, hosted by CSPRI, is the first in a series of three, and included representatives from Parliament, the Judicial Inspectorate for Prisons, SAHRC, media and civil society organisations. The discussions focused on the different oversight mandates, successes achieved in exercising oversight as well as the problems faced. Strategic priorities in prison oversight were identified by the participants.

Roundtable Discussion on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services Roundtable Discussion on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services

The second, in a series of three roundtable discussion, focused on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services. Since its establishment in 1998 the Inspectorate has made a valuable contribution to promoting and protecting prisoners’ rights and South Africa. The Inspectorate has the mandate to inspect prisons in order that the Inspecting Judge may report on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons. After nearly a decade in existence, it is necessary to examine how the Inspectorate has fulfilled its mandate and how oversight over the prison can be improved in cooperation with other stakeholders, such as civil society, Parliament and the academic community. The discussion focused on the state of correctional centre and the prevention of human rights violations.

Reducing Prison Violence: Implications from the literature for South Africa Reducing Prison Violence: Implications from the literature for South Africa

Few would argue that prisons are violent places and South Africa is no exception. The consistently high number of deaths and complaints of assaults recorded by both the DCS and the JICS over several years indicate that violence is a “normal” feature of the South African prison system. Amongst all the strategic objectives towards transformation of the prison system and the distractions, the most important objective of any correctional system is to detain prisoners under safe and humane conditions. This, very explicitly, means that individuals, when imprisoned, must not only be safe but they must also feel safe. Regrettably this is not the case and thus the need for this paper to take a closer look at violence in South Africa’s prison system. This is done by reviewing the literature on prison violence to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and also to establish whether there have been any effective measures implemented elsewhere to reduce prison violence. Based on these a number of recommendations are made to improve prison safety in South Africa.

Ex-prisoners' Views on Imprisonment and Re-Entry Ex-prisoners' Views on Imprisonment and Re-Entry

In the past 15 years much research has been conducted on the prison system in South Africa focusing on governance, law reform and human rights. It is, however, of particular concern that the voices of prisoners and ex-prisoners had not been heard in the current discourse, one that has been dominated by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Parliament, service delivery organisations, academics and human rights activists. In essence, there has been a lot of talk about prisoners and ex-prisoners but there has been little listening to prisoners and ex-prisoners taking place.

A Societal Responsibility: The role of civil society organisations in prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration A Societal Responsibility: The role of civil society organisations in prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration

There is a growing number of civil society organisations in South Africa working with offenders and prisoners focusing on prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration, reflecting in many ways the ‘societal responsibility’ that the White Paper on Corrections advocates for. These organisations provide services broadly aimed at promoting offender reintegration and reducing the chances of re-offending.

'I can't believe in justice anymore': Obstacles to justice for unlawful killings by police in Mozambique 'I can't believe in justice anymore': Obstacles to justice for unlawful killings by police in Mozambique

This report renews Amnesty International’s call on the Mozambican authorities to ensure that there are thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into all cases of use of force by the police resulting in death; that the officers responsible for unlawful killings are brought to justice in fair trials; and that families of those killed receive adequate reparation. It highlights the obstacles to accessing justice for families of victims of unlawful killings by the police and calls on the authorities to remove these obstacles.

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