Lesotho: Detainees remain at risk of torture

On 22 December 2023, detainees at Maseru Correctional Institution (MCCI), Lesotho, were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by the Correctional Services officers who beat the detainees with various weapons and denied them necessary medical care. Relatives witnessed visible injuries on their visit, prompting urgent legal action. On 23 January 2024, the High Court of Lesotho condemned the outdated use of corporal punishment against MCCI detainees, and an investigation launched by the Office of the Ombudsman of Lesotho revealed systemic failures contributing to the violations. The authorities must urgently implement the recommendations made by the Ombudsman – including accountability for the detainees at MCCI and ensure that they are protected from further torture and other ill-treatment.

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