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


Argentina: ill-treatment in Mendoza prisons

Argentina: Unacceptable ill-treatment in Mendoza prisons

In Mendoza Province, the system is sentencing prisoners to suffer overcrowding, ill-treatment, torture and in some cases even death, Virginia Shoppée, Amnesty International's researcher said today on the publication of a memorandum addressed to the Governor of Mendoza Province, Sr. Julio Cobos.

The memorandum summarises the situation of more than 1,600 inmates imprisoned in Mendoza Prison - originally built to house 600 people.

Four or five people are sharing cells measuring 2.60 x 1.80 metres each, often sleeping on the floor and living in deplorable sanitary conditions.

Prolonged lock-up in cells has been routine and the prisoners suffer ill-treatment at the hands of the prison staff and the imposition of arbitrary punishments.

Conditions in the prison are so serious that 22 inmates have died since February 2004, in circumstances that have still not been fully ascertained.

"People imprisoned in Mendoza are in such a desperate situation that they have gone as far as to sew their mouths up in demand of better living conditions," said Ms Shoppée.

"The problems in the prison system in Mendoza run so deep that they require permanent changes in the Province's prison policy. These changes are essential to avoid unleashing further violent acts such as those noted in recent riots."

Through the 'Act of Asunción, Paraguay' in May 2005, the national and provincial governments have already made a commitment before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to take urgent measures to improve the prison situation in Mendoza.

"Amnesty International hopes that these promises will be fulfilled as soon as possible."

In the memorandum, Amnesty International calls on the Mendoza provincial government to produce a Prison Policy Plan including, among other things:

• Improvements in prison conditions, such as adequate medical care and sanitary improvements;

• The establishment of an up-to-date register of inmates;

• Measures to eradicate cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;

• Prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigations into the deaths of inmates and complaints of ill-treatment received, ensuring that those who make statements do not become the victims of reprisals;

• The establishment of urgent measures to speed up court processes;

• An increase in prison staff and improvements in their working conditions;

• Support and protection for all those working for the rights of inmates and improvements in prison conditions.

General Information
An Amnesty International delegation visited Mendoza Province in May 2005. The delegates held meetings with inmates and relatives, authorities, civil society and the Church, lawyers and human rights organizations.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>

Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>