ICJ Memorandum on “the human rights of persons in detention or imprisonment”

In response to Resolution 7 (XXVII) (of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities), the ICJ submits the attached summary of developments in the field of the human rights of persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment.

The object of this material is not to suggest material for findings as to whether or not the rights of detainees and prisoners are being or have been violated in any particular country. Rather, the aim is to aid the Sub-Commission in determining the patterns of violations that have developed in several countries and the conditions which permit such violations, with a view to recommending measures which would prevent their occurrence.

Information compiled by the ICJ in recent years shows that the most frequently violated rights of detained persons are in fact those listed in the preamble of Sub-Commission Resolution 7 (XXVII).

In Part I we draw attention to certain problems relating to the enjoyment of these rights which, according to our files, seem to arise repeatedlyin many countries in all regions and under all regimes. Examples are provided, but they are only illustrative and in no way indicate that only in those countries are such problems known to occur.

Some of the situations mentioned have changed considerably and the practices described have ceased in those places; however, such information about the recent past can be of assistance in determining what measures could correct or prevent similar occurrences today and in the future.

Part II contains suggested measures which the Sub-Commission may wish to consider in connection with these materials. Included are proposals for judicial and administrative procedures which, if adopted, might help to prevent the occurrence of torture and other violations of detainees’ and prisoners’ rights; these proposals have also been submitted to the Fifth U.N. Congress on Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders.

Further details on questions discussed below can be made available by the International Commission of Jurists; in particular,  documents mentioned in the footnotes contain much relevant information.

human rights of persons in detention-non legal submissions-1975-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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