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Central African Republic: Whether any revolts occurred at the Ngaragba prison in Bangui between 1995 and 2001; whether the prison was closed because of these revolts or because of other events during that period and, if so, the periods during which the prison was closed (1995-2001)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 21 February 2005
Citation / Document Symbol CAF43334.FE
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Central African Republic: Whether any revolts occurred at the Ngaragba prison in Bangui between 1995 and 2001; whether the prison was closed because of these revolts or because of other events during that period and, if so, the periods during which the prison was closed (1995-2001) , 21 February 2005, CAF43334.FE , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df60b22.html [accessed 25 October 2014]
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The Research Directorate found contradictory information on the periods during which Ngaragba prison was closed.

The following information was provided by the president of the Central African Human Rights League (Ligue centrafricaine des droits de l'homme, LCDH) during a 10 February 2005 telephone interview. Ngaragba prison closed temporarily after each coup d'état, including during the 28 May 2001 coup. Prisoners took advantage of the coups to escape.

However, the following information contradicts that of the LCDH president. During an 11 February 2005 telephone interview, the economic adviser at the Embassy of the Central African Republic in Washington said that Ngaragba prison reopened at the end of 2003, after being closed for two or three years for [translation] "rehabilitation" work. The economic adviser also said that prisoners were held at other detention centres during the closure (Embassy of the Central African Republic 11 Feb. 2005).

According to several sources, Ngaragba prison was destroyed during revolts that took place in 1996 and 1997 (AFP 2 Feb. 2002; FIDH Feb. 2002, 5), and was reopened in 2003, after being closed for seven years (Géopolitique africaine n.d.).

Since 1996, Country Reports has reported several mutinies that destroyed the prison. Country Reports 2003 indicated that the prison reopened in October 2003 after being closed for seven months because it had been destroyed again during the failed coup attempt of 15 March 2003 (25 Feb. 2004, Sec. 1c.). Country Reports 2002 indicated that the prison was destroyed during 1996 revolts and that repairs to the prison had been completed in June 2001 (31 Mar. 2003, Sec. 1c.). Country Reports 2001 indicated that repairs to the prison, which was destroyed in 1996, began in October 2000 (4 Mar. 2002, Sec. 1c.). Country Reports 2000 indicated that, in 1999, inmates were still being held at police stations because the prison had been destroyed in 1996 (23 Feb. 2001, Sec. 1c.). However, Country Reports 1996 indicated that, following the 1996 revolts, the government reopened the prison, despite its promises to construct a new facility (30 Jan. 1997, Sec. 1c.).

A United Nations report also noted that the prison had been destroyed as a result of the 1997 revolt (2 Jan. 2002). In 2001, the Central African government said that it intended to rebuild Ngaragba prison (United Nations 2 July 2001).

The International Federation for Human Rights reported that, since 1996, several revolts have taken place in the Central African Republic-in addition to the prison uprisings-which [translation] "perpetuate the chronic political instability" (Feb. 2002, 4).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France-Presse (AFP). 2 February 2002. "Les détenus centrafricains prochainement incarcérés dans une vraie prison." (Sangonet.com) [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]
_____. 11 June 1999. Christian Panika. "Faute de prison, le commissaire ne prévient qu'une fois avant exécution." (Dialog)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003. 25 February 2004. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 4 March 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 23 February 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 23 February 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2005]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1996. 30 January 1997. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]

Embassy of the Central African Republic in Washington. 11 February 2005. Telephone interview with an economic adviser.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). February 2002. No. 324. Droits de l'homme en République centrafricaine. Discours et réalité : un fossé béant. [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]

Géopolitique africaine. n.d. "Notes de lecture: 'négrologie' et 'imperium français.'" [Accessed 10 Feb. 2005]

Ligue centrafricaine des droits de l'homme (LCDH). 10 February 2005. Telephone interview with the president.

United Nations. 2 janvier 2002. Security Council. Rapport du secrétaire général sur la situation en République centrafricaine. (S/2002/12) [Accessed 26 Jan. 2005]
_____. 2 July 2001. Security Council. Rapport du secrétaire général sur la situation en République centrafricaine et sur les activités du Bureau des Nations Unies pour la consolidation de la paix en République centrafricaine. (S/2001/660) [Accessed 28 Jan. 2005]

Additional Sources Consuled

Publications: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Africatime, Europa World Yearbook

Internet sites, including: AllAfrica.com, Amnesty International, BBC, Béafrica-opinions.com, Human Rights Watch, Ligue centrafricaine des droits de l'homme, Radio France internationale, Santetropicale.com

Oral sources: Bangui City Hall, Béafrica-opinions, Consulate of the Central African Republic in Montreal, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Observatory of Prisons (French section), United Nations Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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