Friday, August 25, 2006

Guinea's 'entrenched culture of police brutality'

Guinean security forces routinely torture, assault and even murder people with total impunity, according to the watchdog organization Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In a report released earlier this week, HRW details how police brutally torture men and boys held in police custody. The victims are individuals suspected of common crimes as well as those perceived to be government opponents. Once transferred from police custody to prison, many are left to languish for years awaiting trial in cramped, dimly lit cells where they face hunger, disease and sometimes death.

The report is based on HRW interviews with 35 people, including many children, who provided detailed and consistent accounts of mistreatment and torture by police officers while in police custody. Victims told Human Rights Watch that, during police interrogation, they were bound with cords, beaten, burned with cigarettes and corrosive chemicals, and cut with razor blades until they agreed to confess to the crime of which they were accused.

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