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Detainees complain of torture, cruelty in cop cells

26 April 2019

Hundreds of detainees in police station and court cells were reporting torture, cruelty as well as degrading treatment.
Pretoria - Hundreds of detainees in police station and court cells were reporting torture, cruelty as well as degrading treatment and punishments.
This was due to system faults as there were no regular station and cell inspections by people independent of the SAPS to ensure detainees were held and treated in accordance with the law.
This has prompted the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, with support from the European Union, to collaborate with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to set up a system for independent monitoring of local police custody.
The forum and its partners are piloting the Lay Visitors Scheme for independent police custody monitoring, which aims to reduce the risk of abuse against those in police custody.

Pretoria - It will provide for regular and un- announced visits at police stations across the country by trained, accredited individuals who'll conduct visual cell inspections and paperwork checks using a specially designed survey.

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SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen yesterday said it was sad to learn that many incidents of cruel and inhumane treatment were still being reported.
“We expected that with new our democracy there would be no torture anymore. This is why we got the Republic to sign and ratify the treaty, which means we will now enter an active process to prevent torture.
“The pilot will identify and listen to detainees to discover the main reasons behind the inhumane treatment and torture and how it can be prevented.”

Nissen said they were already already starting with the visits to police stations. There were 1148 police stations in the country but not all of them had detention services, hence the pilot project was being undertaken in phases.
Pretoria News

Source: IOL

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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