Mandela Rules should apply: UN
THE CALL from the UN has gone out for countries around the world to adopt the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners – the Nelson Mandela Rules.
The rules represent a universally accepted minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners, conditions of detention and prison management and offer essential practical guidance to prison administrations.
“Speedy and decisive steps towards implementation would truly honour the legacy of the great statesman and inspirational leader Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison,” said UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E Méndez in statement issued along with a group of other UN and international experts.
The rapporteur on torture said “the revised rules are premised on the recognition of prisoners’ inherent dignity and value as human beings and contain essential new procedural standards and safeguards that will go a long way in protecting detainees from torture and other ill-treatment”.
The Mandela Rules include key safeguards, such as the recognition of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They also make clear independent healthcare professionals have a duty to refrain from participating in torture or other ill-treatment, as well as playing a vital role in detecting such ill-treatment and reporting it.
The UN team hailed the adoption of the “Mandela Rules” as “an historic step and one of the most significant human rights achievements in recent years”.
Rural development agency Casidra visited the Haven Night Shelter in Paarl yesterday as a Mandela Day activity. It handed out soup and food parcels.