St Albans prison scandal: SA ignores UNHRC and risks international embarrassment

Zwelandile-KhumaloRead Senior Journalist, Carolyn Raphaely’s latest story on the mass beatings, torture and assaults, involving 200 inmates of Port Elizabeth’s St Albans prison. Nine years after the violent attacks imposed on inmates by warders and other state officials, none of the implicated warders have been charged or dismissed.

Port Elizabeth human rights lawyer, Egon Oswald, wrote a letter to the newly-appointed Minister of Justice and Correctional Services requesting “motivated reasons” why disciplinary proceedings against warders had been withdrawn.
According to Oswald, “international laws against torture are under-pinned by moral and ethical imperatives. SA has obligations in terms of being a signatory to international human rights instruments like the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the Optional Protocol to the CAT and must be held accountable.”
Last November, Ministerial spokesman, Logan Maistry, informed the Wits Justice Project that “the investigation into the McCallum case by the relevant agencies is at an advanced stage,” an assertion he reiterated in February this year. However, letters in Oswald’s possession surprisingly demonstrate that all proceedings against the warders were withdrawn in mid-September, two months earlier.
Continue reading here

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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