Man­dela Rules should ap­ply: UN

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WEEK­END AR­GUS REPORTER

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”.

PIC­TURE: JA­SON BOUD

Ru­ral devel­op­ment agency Casidra vis­ited the Haven Night Shel­ter in Paarl yes­ter­day as a Man­dela Day ac­tiv­ity. It handed out soup and food parcels.

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