There were further reports of ill-treatment by police officers in the Netherlands Antilles, a Caribbean country forming part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In April the UN Committee against Torture examined the periodic report of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on its compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee expressed concern about "the severeness and the relatively high number of cases of police brutality" in the Netherlands Antilles. It was particularly concerned by the apparent failure of the authorities "to fully investigate and deal with such cases". It recommended the Netherlands Antilles to "take strong measures to bring to an end the ill-treatments which reportedly occur in police stations and to ensure that such allegations are speedily and properly investigated and that those who may be found guilty of acts of ill-treatment be prosecuted". The Committee also asked for information regarding the number of investigations that had been opened and about their outcome. During the year there were dozens of reports of ill-treatment by police officers on the islands of Bonaire and Curaçao. The majority referred to 1993 and 1994. Some individuals claimed they had been slapped and punched. Others alleged they had been beaten with truncheons, partially asphyxiated, and hit and threatened with firearms. Three men alleged that they had received electric shocks. In January E. Josephia, R. Rodríguez and one other person were detained by police in Curaçao on suspicion of burglary. They alleged that officers repeatedly partially asphyxiated them with their hands and then punched them in the stomach. Paper bags were placed over their heads, they were slapped and punched in the face and they were handcuffed so tightly that marks were still visible 12 days later. In April Amnesty International published a report, Netherlands Antilles: Comments by Amnesty International on the Second Periodic Report submitted to the United Nations Committee against Torture. It described the alleged ill-treatment of detainees by police and prison officers between January 1990 and January 1994, in some cases resulting in death. In July Amnesty International wrote to the Attorney General of the Netherlands Antilles requesting information on nearly 50 cases of alleged ill-treatment recorded in Curaçao and Bonaire between 1993 and 1995 and on a working party established in April to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee. It also requested information on the outcome of an investigation into complaints of ill-treatment in Pointe Blanche prison, St Maarten, in 1993 (see Amnesty International Report 1995). No reply had been received by the end of the year.

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