THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights wishes to convey its deep concern over the death by suffocation on the morning of Sunday, October 16, of 32 people at the Magdalena penitentiary. In the week prior to this occurrence, a collective writ of habeas corpus had been filed on behalf of those detained in the Magdalena prison because of the deplorable state of the facilities.
As regards the state of prisons in Argentina, the Commission has been told that conditions in some penitentiaries are critical. Overcrowding, deficient health care, dilapidated and insufficient infrastructure, inadequate nutrition, and ongoing inhumane treatment of detainees have all been identified as factors triggering violations of human rights in Argentinean detention centers. Above all the violence prevailing in various prisons has led to death and serious bodily and psychological harm to inmates.
Since the State guarantees the rights of persons in its custody, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights calls upon the Argentine State to take the necessary steps to guarantee the life and personal integrity of persons deprived of their liberty in the prison system and in the country’s other detention centers. In particular, the State must guarantee that an investigation be held to reveal the truth of what happened and that those responsible be punished, in order to avoid a recurrence of such violence and loss of human life.
Washington, D.C., October 19, 2005