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Amnesty International Report 1994 - Mauritius

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 1 January 1994
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1994 - Mauritius, 1 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9ef64.html [accessed 23 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
There were reports that police officers were responsible for beating prisoners. Four people were sentenced to death but there were no executions.

In September the Attorney General announced that the government was drafting constitutional amendments which would limit the rights of people arrested for drugs offences. The proposals were not made public, but were reported to include denying suspected drugs offenders access to lawyers and removing their right to bail.

As in previous years, there were reports that police officers were responsible for beatings. In January Iqbal Chamroo needed two days' hospital treatment after he was hit on the head while being searched by plainclothes anti-drugs officers in Pleine Verte. He submitted a complaint to the police but it was not known if any action had been taken by the end of the year. In May police officers at Plaine Magnien detained and severely beat Basdeo Appadu. After his family learned of his ill-treatment and intervened on his behalf, he was taken to hospital where he required an operation. An internal police investigation led to the arrest of five police officers but it was not known if they had been charged or brought to trial by the end of the year.

The authorities did take action against police officers implicated in brutality in previous years. In September, two police officers were charged with causing injuries leading to the death of Eddie Labrosse in June 1992 (see Amnesty International Report 1993). Apparent attempts by senior police officers to cover up police wrong-doing during the course of the investigation led lawyers in June to urge that a commission of inquiry into police brutality and corruption be established. The authorities rejected the request.

In July the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in London, the highest court of appeal for Mauritius, freed Radha Krishna Kunnath, an Indian national sentenced to death for drug-trafficking in 1989. The JCPC ruled that he had been unfairly tried because language interpretation had not been available during his trial (see Amnesty International Reports 1990 and 1991).

Four prisoners were convicted of drug-trafficking and sentenced to death during the year. In December the Supreme Court rejected the appeals of two women - Zaheeda Banoo Hussain and Shameer Bano Naseerudin - who had been sentenced to death in May. There were no executions.

Amnesty International urged the government of Prime Minister Anerood Jugnath to commute all death sentences and abolish the death penalty.

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