World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Deeply disturbed by apparent impunity for guards

USA: AI deeply disturbed by apparent impunity for guards in Frank Valdes killing

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

14 May 2002 AMR 51/076/2002

Amnesty International is deeply disturbed by the dropping of charges against five remaining prison guards awaiting trial for the 1999 killing of Florida death row inmate Frank Valdes.

Florida state prosecutors' decision last Friday to drop the charges -- which ranged from conspiracy to second-degree murder -- followed a jury's acquittal of three other former correctional officers charged in the same case in February.

Amnesty International said it was appalled that no-one has been brought to justice or held accountable in the case, despite overwhelming evidence that Valdes was beaten to death by guards in an isolation cell in Florida State Prison in July 1999. Valdes, who was serving a sentence for the murder of a prison guard, died from massive injuries inflicted during the alleged beating. Injuries included 22 broken ribs and a fractured sternum, nose and jaw, and there were boot marks on his face, neck, abdomen and back.

Amnesty International expressed concern that the safety of all those in state custody is in jeopardy if officers can act with impunity in the face of such compelling and horrendous evidence of abuse. The organization also called on the federal Justice Department -- which announced it would review the Valdes case after the February acquittals -- to make every effort to bring those responsible to justice.

Background The charges in the killing of Frank Valdes stemmed from two incidents in X-Wing (a high security isolation wing) of Florida State Prison: a "cell extraction" in which Valdes was injured while being forcibly removed from his cell by five guards, and the alleged fatal beating which took place when he returned to his cell from the prison clinic on 17 July 1999.

At the trial, the prosecution contended that Frank Valdes was beaten by guards to discourage him from going to the media with allegations of physical abuse of other inmates in X-Wing. Allegations of systematic beatings by guards of inmates in X-Wing came to light after Valdes' death when inmates contacted a local newspaper. However, a state jury -- drawn from a community with strong ties to the state prison system -- acquitted all three officers tried last February.


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news