NewsLatin AmericaThe UN denounces abuses in prisons by the Military Police

    The UN denounces abuses in prisons by the Military Police

    The UN Human Rights Office released this Friday, July 7, the results of an investigation it carried out in Honduras in which it reveals a series of ill-treatment, including beatings against inmates in the country’s prisons, which it assures are committed by members of the military police. The body highlights that the abuses have escalated since the Government transferred control of the prison system to that police branch.

    Beatings, sleep deprivation and cuts in food and water rations are among the various abuses against prisoners in Honduras, at the hands of the military police, denounces the UN.

    The controversial practices were found during the investigation of a mission of the United Nations Human Rights Office in the country’s prisons.

    “Allegations of excessive and unnecessary use of force must be promptly investigated”remarked during the presentation of the report the agency’s spokesperson, Marta Hurtado.

    The investigation notes that the ill-treatment was documented after the government of President Xiomara Castro chose to transfer control of her country’s prison system to the military police last June.

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    The president announced the decision after a riot in one of the nation’s prisons, the Women’s Center for Social Adaptation (Cefas), where 48 women died.

    Almost immediately the authorities confirmed the start of operations in which they have seized stockpiles of weapons from gang members inside detention centers.

    Besides, This week the Castro Administration extended for 45 days the state of emergency, initially decreed last December, to fight extortion and organized crime.

    that measure it allows the military police to support the national police in public order tasks, but it also repeals individual rights to freedom of assembly, association and movement. At the same time, it allows arrests and searches without a warrant.

    Although the UN recognized the urgent need to stop the high rates of violence, both in prisons and in the country in general, warned that some of the measures taken fall into abuse.

    “Inmates have also been deprived of sleep and their food and water rations have been cut, which can amount to ill-treatment,” Hurtado remarked.

    Honduras, on its way to war against the gangs of El Salvador?

    Human rights groups in Honduran territory have denounced other types of abuses in prisons in recent days. Among them, forcing inmates to sit with their legs apart, half-naked and huddled against each other in open prison courtyards.

    Images that are similar to those disseminated by the authorities of El Salvador, whose president has launched the so-called ‘war against gangs’, in which he claims a drastic decrease in crimes against citizens, but which arouses criticism and rejection by human rights organizations.

    “It is the same phenomenon (…) International norms and treaties are being violated,” said the retired police commissioner, Henry Osorto, when comparing the situation with the neighboring country.

    Honduras is receiving similar questions as El Salvador, but authorities have dismissed the criticism, saying gangs are abusing civilians.

    “These criminals violate people’s human rights, they kill, kidnap and extort money. Who defends those rights?” The commander of the Honduran military police, Ramiro Munoz, said in an interview with the local press on Tuesday, July 4.

    Despite the criticism, the Castro government stresses that strict military-style searches of Honduran prisons have yielded some results: Pistols, hundreds of rounds of assault rifles and grenades have been found during raids.

    Among the findings, they also highlight that they identified an MS-13 gang leader in a different prison than the one he was assigned to.

    The government also released a video this week of the police tearing down a fence that gangs had erected in a town in northern Honduras to mark their territory.

    With EFE and AP

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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