[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Jun 12 02:25:50 CDT 2005
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
Fears of a prison riot
Prison officers fear for their lives since the announcement of the
resumption of hanging of death row prisoners.
"Once Government is playing politics and talking about hanging people,
they are putting my officers lives at risk because the mood at the
condemned area has changed," Kenneth Mathison, general secretary of the
Prison Officers Association, said yesterday.
He was responding to questions at a press conference in San Fernando
called by The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non Governmental
Organisations (FITUN) to announce Labour Day plans for Fyzabad.
Mathison said the situation had become volatile and that prison officers
at the nation's "heavily understaffed" prisons fear that prisoners could
As it is now, there is a ratio of about 40 prisoners to an officer "and if
a riot breaks out in prison now, a lot of officers could be damaged if not
dead," he said.
Mathison said the major problem at the prisons was understaffing,
resulting in overworked and underpaid prison officers. He said there were
about 2,000 officers, but there was need for some 3,500 officers to handle
the nation's prison population.
"Officers' lives are being intimidated. Just imagine one officer sometimes
has to work alone with all the prisoners in condemned cells.
We do not have enough staff to man the condemned cells in Port of Spain,
Because of the understaffing, he said, "the prison system does not operate
properly, things cannot happen they way it should, programmes of
rehabilitation and restoration cannot be implemented. Nothing can work
until we are properly manned."
Mathison said in some cases there were 300 inmates in a yard with one
officer, and government was doing nothing to help. Mathison said Trinidad
prisons had not been hit by riots, as had happened in other countries, but
that did not mean it could not happen.
(source: Trinidad Express)
Tihar Prisons execution data state secret: rights group
Execution records at Delhi's Tihar are a "state secret," a rights group
has alleged, citing what it claims is a response it has received from
authorities at Asia's largest prison over a request for the data on
hangings since 1947.
"In its reply dated May 12, 2005, the DIG (Prisons) refused to provide the
information on the grounds that 'some of the persons who have been
executed were convicted for various offences having prejudicial affect on
the sovereignty and integrity of India and security of the NCT of Delhi
and international relations and could lead to incitement of an
offence...," People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) Secretary Deepika
Tandon said in a statement here.
The PUDR, which opposes death penalty, said it had requested execution
records under the Delhi Right to Information Act-2001.
It accused Tihar authorities of placing India beside Vietnam, China and
Uzbekistan where executions are state secrets.
The PUDR also cited observations of the UN Commission on Human Rights
about certain countries cloaking execution information in secrecy.
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