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HRCB addresses inhumane conditions of facilities for detainees

The Human Rights Commission of Belize, HRCB, is appealing to the newly appointed Commissioner of Belize, Chester Williams, to address the inhumane conditions of the bathroom facility used by the detainees on lock down at Queen Street Police Station. HRCB noted that some years ago, with the assistance of the Chief Justice and Commissioner Whylie, they were able to safeguard the promulgation of the “Guidelines for Interviewing and Treatment of Persons in Police Detention”.  As a result, efforts were made to ensure the maintenance and management of the lock ups nationwide. However, Attorney Kevin Arthurs, the Vice President of HRCB said that the Commission is deeply disappointed that the police department has regress concerning this issue.

 Arthur’s Vice President of Human Rights Commission of Belize: “I think we will all agree as reasonable persons that it ought not to be an issue of labour or an issue of any sort of movement that a person who is detained should be given some restroom facilities to relieve themselves. That is just a basic human minimum and guaranteed to all and this ought not to be our position. There are both people who are accused rightfully and wrongfully who attend these detention facilities and we do not want to be a reflection as to where our society is in the way that we treat those people who are in that situation and so our position really is an extension first to the current Commissioner for him to immediately address the situation as to refresh his commitment and that of the Departments commitment to these basic minimum standards of decency for persons who are in lock down. I can report as well that I received a call from the Commissioner and I am glad to say that he in response is in fact working on it and has been actively working on it and that I was informed by him that contractors are to come in shortly and they will be addressing the situation.”

Arthurs added that it is his hoped that the next time around it would be resolved before being brought to light