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2 Hum. Rts. Defender 1 (1993)

handle is hein.journals/hurighdef2 and id is 1 raw text is: THE UNIVERSITY OF

Human Rights

University of New South Wales PO Box 1 Kensington 2033 Australia
Ph (61 2) 697 2227 Fax (61 2) 313 7209 ISSN 1039-2637

Vol 2 No 1 1993

Australian prisons in breach of
international standards

Inadequate physical conditions,
together with a lack of under-
standing of international standards,
are symptomatic of Australian
prison conditions, according to
numerous media reports of the last
-two months.
Amnesty International has
criticised the Alice Springs prison for
continuing to use dormitory style ac-
commodation, despite the recom-
mendations    of  the   Royal
Commission in Aboriginal Deaths in
Custody (see page 2 ).
The Legal Aid Commission in
Victoria also presented a report on
prison conditions, Custody in Police
Cells, criticising the new Geelong
court complex and the proposed
Franks ton building.
As reported in the Herald-Sun,
Feb 9, the Commission believes that
UN standards should apply. But not
so the Police;'Unfortunately, the Vic-
torian Police Department's view-
point in the past has been that UN
standards are guidelines only and

that there is no requirement to
comply', the report said.
Design plans restrict prisoners to
exercising in confined yards without
fresh air, and toilets that lack privacy.
The Report highlights several
cases, without naming the specific
police cells involved. They included
a defendant who would normally
have been transferred to Pentridge
after sentencing being held for 10
days without a change of clothes or
seeing daylight. Women or child
prisoners at another complex were
kept in isolation and were not al-
lowed visits for up to a week.
The release of the report follows
the death of a 29-year-old man in the
Melbourne city watchhouse on Feb 8.
The UN standards require
prisoners to be able to use toilet
facilities in a clean and decent man-
ner and windows should allow fresh
air in places where prisoners live and
work. - Cont page 2 - The Amnesty

First Defender
issue for 1993
The Human Rights Defender'
brings you its first issue for 1993,
hoping that you will help make this
national human rights newsletter d
success during the year.
The Defender will be produced
bi-monthly, covering a wide range of
human rights topics. This issue ran-
ges from child care to prisons, from
El Salvador's peace process to India's
proposed new Human Rights Com-
mission. Coveringissues inAustralia
as well as the wider Asia-Pacific
region, we hope to present an inter-
nationalist perspective for people ac-
tively involved in human rights.
The Editorial Team comprises
Jane Hearn, Rebecca Peters and John
Scott-Murphy. The University of
NSW Human Rights Centre receives
a steady stream of information from
NGOs and institutions around the
world. Some of this will find its way
onto these pages.
Original contributions are wel-
come from all sources. Correspon-
dence is encouraged. The back page
provides a guide to potential con-
The Defender needs subscrip-
tions to survive. Please subscribe if
you want to receive the newsletter
regularly. There is a subscription
form at the back.

Human Rights Defender Vol 2 No 1. Feb 1993 Page 1

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