Torture is rife in Equatorial Guineas prisons says UN expert

The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, reported that torture is used by police forces against detainees – political prisoners as well as suspects of common crimes – to extract confessions or information and sometimes as punishment, intimidation or to extort money.The police abuse reported to him and corroborated by expert medical analysis included beatings to the soles of feet and buttocks with batons, solid rubberized cables and wooden bars; electric shocks with starter cables attached to different parts of the body with alligator clips; various forms of suspension with hands and feet tied together for prolonged periods and beating victims while they swing back-and-forth. “I am concerned about possible reprisals against detainees who provided testimony to us, in particular at the Central Police Stations in Malabo and Bata,” Mr. Nowak said after his 10-day fact-finding mission at the request of the Government.“The fact that I was denied access to both these facilities, when I went for follow-up visits, reinforces these concerns,” he added.He said that the absence of an independent judiciary, endemic corruption, arbitrary detention, evidence obtained through torture and the almost total impunity for those torturing prisoners are among the factors contributing to the absence of human rights for detainees in Equatorial Guinea.Mr. Nowak noted that holding cells are dirty, humid, and lack any sanitary or sleeping facilities. Food is only provided by detainees’ families or fellow inmates and access to water for drinking and washing is severely restricted. Detainees are usually not allowed to use the toilet, and as a result must resort to using plastic bottles or plastic bags. They have no possibility to exercise and have no access to medical care. He expressed concern that allegations of violence among detainees were frequently ignored or even tolerated by the authorities.“The fact that many detainees are held in these conditions well beyond the maximum of 72 hours stipulated by law, sometimes up to several months, exacerbates the situation and amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,” said Mr. Nowak.Although prisons are spacious on the whole, the Special Rapporteur voiced concern at the prohibition of family visits. He stressed that contact with the outside world is a major component of successful rehabilitation and reintegration of detainees as required by article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Political prisoners in one prison have been held in solitary confinement for up to four years, without being allowed the one hour of exercise per day required by international minimum standards.“Moreover, they are held in leg irons practically all the time. Prolonged solitary confinement and the permanent use of leg irons amount to inhuman treatment.”The Special Rapporteur said that detained immigrants pending deportation were held in police cells for long periods of time in poor conditions with no food or water since they have no family nearby. They also run an increased risk of discrimination and physical abuse from other inmates with the approval of the police.He added that women and children were also particularly vulnerable as they are not separated from men and are exposed to the risk of sexual violence, a clear violation of international norms.“The context that allows torture to continue unabatedly is characterized by the non-functioning of the administration of justice and, therefore, the absence of the rule of law,” noted Mr. Nowak.Mr. Nowak recommended a comprehensive institutional and legal overhaul establishing law enforcement bodies based on the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms to effectively combat torture for the country to comply with international human rights law and its own constitution.“I would advise the international community, including trans-national corporations, to ensure that, in their development cooperation and business practices, they are not complicit in violations of human rights by state authorities.” 19 November 2008Detainees kept in police custody in Equatorial Guinea are victims of systematic torture, and prisoners suffer inhuman conditions, an independent United Nations human rights expert said in a press statement today, blaming a break down in the country’s judicial system. read more

CDE launches Combo™ all in one wet processing plant at Bauma

first_imgCDE has launched the Combo™ in a move set to revolutionise the wet processing industry. The patented Combo™ – the world’s first all-in-one wet processing plant – was unveiled at Bauma in Munich. CDE which has a long history of ground-breaking innovation and holds more patents than anyone else in the sector brought the pioneering M2500 to the market almost a decade ago. The Combo™ encompasses five processes – feeding, sizing, sand washing, stockpiling and complete integrated water management which is a first for the industry and an important innovation to address a challenge faced by all customers of wet processing systems.Sean Kerr, Chief Operating Officer, CDE said: “The Combo™ is no ordinary machine but rather a technological response to the challenges faced by materials producers. It has been designed with a focus on transferring greater reliability and efficiency benefits to customers. Offering a turnkey solution that delivers unrivalled control of in-spec washed products from a wide range of feed materials the Combo™  can be used in the construction, C&D waste recycling, industrial sands, mining and environmental sectors.”In brief, the Combo™ creates enhanced reliability and efficiency offering rapid onsite set-up, reduced start-up costs, the ability to process a wide range of feed materials (both natural sand and crushed rock), lower power consumption, a smaller footprint and unrivalled accessibility for maintenance.Pre-tested and pre-wired before dispatch, the Combo™ arrives on-site in a single unit ready to plug and play either as a standalone plant or as part of a larger turnkey solution. The plant is built for rapid assembly and set up and can start processing material within days of arrival onsite. Also, as it sits on its own chassis, the Combo™ requires minimal civils and pipework so operators can now easily relocate their plant across sites or to remote locations. Its smaller footprint also makes it ideal for tight quarries in urban settings.With all essential processes being housed onto one chassis, the Combo™ system operates as one interconnected and pre-assembled unit which incorporates an integrated control panel with one single point of operation. Significantly, the Combo™ wet processing system can produce up to two in-spec products from natural sand or crushed rock turning what is often considered a waste by-product into a product that adds value to the business.In addition, the new technology allows customers almost total independence of water supply with up to 90% of process water recycled for immediate re-use in the system – ideal for jurisdictions with limited resources or those with existing environmental or impending environmental legislation. A customer-focused solution, the Combo™ has been designed for single-operator use and unrivalled ease-of-access for routine maintenance with its patented swivel access to the pump leading to maximum production and prolonged life.Lower power consumption compared to existing technology available on the market means customers can process a higher volume of materials with reduced operating costs generating exceptional return on investment.Kevin Vallelly, Director of Engineering at CDE, said: “At CDE we are unlocking a New World of Resource and driving alternatives for sand production. Global demand for construction sand is more than 15 billion tonnes per year. Sand accounts for 35% of concrete which is used in the building construction industry. Large parts of the world face increasing demand for infrastructure and civil projects in the face of diminishing natural resources.”He adds: “Our sustainable technology producing washed and graded manufactured sand is helping supplement natural sand which is a finite resource and increasing in cost. By utilising normally low-value crusher fines for sand production we can extend the life of natural resources and add huge commercial value to our customers’ enterprises. The Combo™ requires a small supply of fresh water compared with traditional systems which typically consume 10-15 times more water allowing its deployment in quarries and urban areas not previously known for sand production. In addition, sand can be produced closer to where concrete is required resulting in significant cost savings in the transport of aggregates. The Combo™ is industry leading technology designed to unlock a New World of Resource essential to protect our environment and build the world of the future.”last_img read more