Covering events from January - December 2004

Instances of brutality by police and prison staff were reported. Asylum-seekers were deported without access to adequate asylum procedures. Death sentences were imposed; no executions were carried out.

Death penalty

At the end of 2004 there were at least 26 people on death row. Death sentences continued to be imposed by the courts; no executions were carried out.

  • In July, the Court of Appeal ruled that Ricardo Lockhart's 2003 murder conviction was unsatisfactory and unsafe. It substituted a conviction for manslaughter and commuted his death sentence to a prison term of 25 years.

Prison conditions

Conditions in Fox Hill Prison remained poor. Concerns included inadequate sanitation, food, water and medical care and some instances of ill-treatment.

  • In August an inquest heard evidence that Sidney McKenzie had been beaten before his death in September 2000. A prisoner alleged in court that prisoners had been beaten and threatened before coming to court to give evidence.
  • In October an inquest ruled that neglect and failure to provide medical attention contributed to the death of Kazimierz Kwasiborski, who died in prison on 28 August 2003.


Asylum-seekers from countries including Haiti and Cuba were forcibly returned without access to a full and fair refugee determination procedure, in violation of international law. There were reports of inadequate medical attention, food and water at the Carmichael Detention Centre. At least five children were detained in violation of international standards.

Violations by the security forces

There were several reports of ill-treatment. At least three people were fatally shot by police.

  • The inquest into the fatal shooting by police of Jermaine Alexander Mackey in December 2002 had not concluded by the end of 2004.
  • In October several Haitian and Cuban detainees were reportedly beaten at the Carmichael Detention Centre. The report of a police investigation into the allegations was presented to Parliament in December. On 9 December, at least nine detainees and 11 guards were injured during a fire and confrontation at the Carmichael Detention Centre.

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