Seychelles Police pledge to improve treatment and facilities for detainees

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The Seychelles Police has pledged to place officers on cell duty in “every station where detainees or pretrial detainees are located to ensure that all aspects of human rights are respected”, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.

Police said they “recognize that some of their detention facilities at some police stations have shortcomings and that they do not currently have a specific pre-trial detention facility”.

This follows complaints filed with the Supreme Court last week by in-custody lawyer Laura Valabji, accused in a case of missing $50 million from government accounts in which a total of six suspects have been charged with various charges. charges of corruption and money laundering.

In his plea to the court on January 7, Valabhji’s lawyer, Frank Elizabeth, accused the police of not respecting his client’s human rights because she did not get time in the sun on a daily basis, n He hadn’t received the legal paperwork for his case, nor a change of clothes, his reading glasses and his medication.

The presiding judge, Chief Justice Rony Govinden ordered that “the police must comply with any orders which the court had previously made in respect of the accused”.

The police said in their statement that “wherever possible, they are doing their best to improve the treatment of remand prisoners, especially the elderly and those with certain medical conditions, so that they are placed in suitable establishments while investigations continue in their respective areas”. case.”

Complaints about the treatment and facilities of detainees previously existed and were investigated by the Seychelles Human Rights Commission (SHRC) last year, whose report was published in October 2021 .

Police said that based on this report, Police Commissioner Ted Barbe appointed a four-person committee, which recently visited police station detention centers and made some recommendations, namely that minor renovations should be completed while discussions are underway for the construction of a new house of arrest and detention.

The SHRC report on police detention facilities highlighted problems with human rights standards, including insufficient natural light in cells, lack of drinking water and seating, lack of hygiene, private showers and toilets, lack of exercise, writing and reading. materials as well as mattresses, pillows and blankets for sleeping.

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