NGO asks Inspecting Judge to investigate illegal treatment of Pretoria escapees

Constitutional and legislative protocols breached during press conference held after recapture of three prisoners attempting to escape by climbing over a wall at Pretoria Central Prison on 16 March 2012, says Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI).

In its letter to Inspecting Judge of Prisons Vuka Tshabalala, CSPRI asked the judge to investigate whether the minimum amount of force was used to recapture the prisoners, as the prisoners were clearly injured.

CSPRI pointed out that the Correctional Services Act prohibits the publication of an account that identifies a specific inmate without his consent, and yet the three were paraded before the media.

The prisoners further appeared to be ill-treated in that they were paraded before the media while injured and bleeding and apparently had their medical care interrupted. The way in which the Minister reprimanded them publicly also appeared to infringe their dignity.

CSPRI also asked the judge to investigate how it was possible that the three could climb over a prison wall in broad daylight. This  suggested negligence if not corruption on the part of correctional officials at the prison.


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