HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PRISON PROJECT
MONITORING CONDITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Shielded from public view, and populated largely by the poor, uneducated, and politically powerless, prisons tend to remain hidden sites of human rights abuse. By struggling against this
At the regional level as well, prison monitoring mechanisms are active. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the most prominent of these bodies, inspected penal institutions in eleven countries in 1997, including those of Turkey, Spain, and Estonia. In December 1996, the CPT released a public statement on Turkey, declaring that "resort to torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment remains a common occurrence in police establishments in Turkey."
In Africa, the special rapporteur on prisons and conditions of detention, an adjunct to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, began work in January 1997 and made an initial fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe in early March. Human rights organizations with observer status at the commission reported, however, that the special rapporteur's oral report on his mission presented an insufficiently detailed or critical view of the country's prison situation. In August 1997, the special rapporteur inspected prisons in Mali.
The following are among the many organizations around the world that monitor prison conditions and expose prison abuses.
Americas (Latin America and the Caribbean)
Europe and Central Asia
[Back to the Human Rights Watch Prison Conditions Page]