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Ombud flags torture at Maseru prisnon

Publish date: 01 April 2024
Issue Number: 1070
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Lesotho

Prisoners at the Maseru Correctional Centre Institution (MCCI) were severely beaten up in December when warders intentionally created a confrontation. This is one of the revelations in a January 2024 Ombudsman of Lesotho report seen by News24. According to the report, on the morning of 22 December 2023, detainees at the MCCI were brutally beaten by recruits from the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS), resulting in injuries, during a regular search operation. The targets were imprisoned members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). The report flagged the beatings as human rights violations, with torture and excessive use of force. The inmates were also denied medical care. The ombudsman said recruits from the LCS training facility abused their authority, while some officers were indifferent and negligent in their duties. ‘It might be appealing for some to dismiss inmates who are victims of excessive use of force as deserving of their fate; to assume the worst of them and the best of correctional officers. But it is important to remember that inmates, regardless of why they are confined, are human beings deserving of respect, dignity and humane treatment,’ said Ombudsman Advocate Tlotliso Polaki. The probe focused on the LCS's alleged inability to give proper medical care to convicts who were tortured and beaten, including the death of escapee Bokang Tsoako.

Full News24 report

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