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Mauritania: Torture at the heart of the state

Amnistía Internacional publicou hoxe un informe sobre Mauritania, centrado na práctica da tortura e o maltrato a detidos. O informe leva por título “Mauritania: Torture at the heart of the state”. Copio un extracto da súa introducción:

[…] Torture is used to extract confessions while detainees are being held in custody2but also to humiliate and punish prisoners.All detainees, whether they are prisoners convicted under ordinary law or individuals detained for political offences, risk being subjected to very serious torture that can endanger their health and even their life even though they have been placed under the protection of the justice system. In Mauritania, the security apparatus has adopted torture as a system of investigation and repression. It is deeply anchored in the culture of the security forces, which act with complete impunity. It is a scourge condoned by state authorities at the highest level.

This report is the result of two Amnesty International research missions to Mauritania in February/March 2008 and July 2008. Members of the missions interviewed many prisoners and detainees in the prisons of Dar Naïm in Nouakchott (the capital) and Nouadhibou (in the north-west of the country) and former detainees. They also gathered dozens of accounts of torture and ill-treatment by the security forces, which deliberately use physical violence in the hours and days following arrest. The systematic use of torture is made possible by detention procedures, which allow suspects in custody (the period of detention immediately following arrest and during which most detainees are kept incommunicado) for crimes and offences against national security, to be held for a maximum of 15 days. Even though this is a considerable period, it is regularly exceeded.

The perpetrators of these acts of torture and ill-treatment include police officers, military personnel and prison officers. Moroccan security officers have sometimes participated in interrogations and torture, especially in investigations into acts of terrorism.

According to most of the statements made by victims, most abuse takes place during the period of custody, in official and non-official police locations and in military barracks. The aim of the security forces is to extract “confessions” that are often the only means used by the police, the army and prosecutors to establish the guilt of suspects. The courts have declared that “confessions” extracted under torture and ill-treatment are admissible as evidence, even if they are subsequently retracted, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that these declarations have been obtained under duress. […]

3 Decembro 2008 - Posted by | Amnesty International, Human Rights, Mauritania, Morocco, Politics

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