UN official says Kazakh prisoners tortured, abused
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||14 May 2009|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, UN official says Kazakh prisoners tortured, abused, 14 May 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a1d3e0823.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
May 14, 2009
Manfred Nowak speaks to reporters in Astana.
The UN's special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said in Astana that violence and torture exist in Kazakhstan's penitentiary system, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.
Nowak said he has medical proof of cases in which prison guards beat inmates with plastic bottles filled with sand and placed plastic bags over inmates' heads to simulate suffocation.
He said before Kazakhstan takes over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) next year, it should adopt laws prohibiting the use of torture on inmates.
He also said that complaints of torture should be investigated and prisons should be under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry, not the Interior Ministry.
Nowak added that medical examinations of alleged torture victims should be held without the involvement of police and the Prosecutor's Office.
His observations will be sent to the UN Human Rights Council.
Meanwhile, five inmates at a maximum security prison in the central Kazakh city of Dolinka self-mutilated themselves on May 13 to protest conditions at the facility, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.
The prisoners are demanding more visits by their relatives and that they be allowed an unlimited number of parcels. The prison was visited by Nowak this week along with several others in the region.