Argentine female prisons in inhuman condition

July 11th, 2010 - 10:53 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, July 11 (IANS/EFE) Prisons for female convicts in Argentina are in an “inhuman” condition and inmates are being subjected to ill-treatment and torture, a report by over a dozen human rights organisations said.
According to the document, these conditions constitute a “scenario of systematic violations of human rights” and are totally against the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

“The situation is made worse by the lack of any consideration for the specific needs of women,” the report said.

It questions the “lack of adequate health programmes” and the “persistent practice of violence, ill-treatment and torture that inmates undergo”.

All these situations add up to an “illegitimate aggravation” of the living conditions of female detainees, it said.

Around 60 percent of these prisoners were arrested in drug cases and chiefly involve foreign women stopped at the border carrying small amounts of narcotics.

There is also a significant number of women inmates in pre-trial detention.

The report said “numerous complaints have been filed by detained women that reflect a standard of medical care that is insufficient, slow and of poor quality” in the jails.

There have been “many cases in which women have not received treatment nor have been given information on how AIDS is transmitted or on how to prevent it”.

The government is unconcerned about fulfilling its duty to guarantee the life, health and safety of the inmates in its custody, the document said.

The Argentine Federal Penitentiary Service has registered, between 2006 and April 2010, the deaths of only nine women confined in prisons.

The document, however, claims that in the same period, 10 female prisoners died in the province of Buenos Aires. It also said that in 2004, six children living in jail with their mothers also died.

The report also condemned alleged violence against female inmates by male security personnel and said humiliating searches, isolation and constant relocation of detainees were mechanisms of torture.

–IANS/EFE

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