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UA 272/93 - Ecuador: ill-treatment / fear for safety: Eleven prisoners including: Ademir Amur, Saul Vega (Colombian)

, Index number: AMR 28/006/1993

On 1 August 1993 a group of prisoners were caught trying to escape from Garcia Moreno prison in Quito. They were reportedly seriously beaten by the prison guards and police, and have since been held incommunicado. Witnesses have stated that following the beating they saw some of these prisoners, including Saul Vega, being dragged to the jail's medical clinic. According to reports, relatives, human rights workers and a member of parliament have tried to see them on several occasions, but have been denied access by the prison authorities. The prisoners have not been seen since their reported beating. Ecuadorean law does not allow for more than 48 hours of incommunicado detention and there is serious concern for their safety.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 28/06/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 272/93 Ill-treatment/Fear for safety 13 August 1993
ECUADOR: Eleven prisoners including:
Ademir Amur
Saúl Vega (Colombian)
Amnesty International is concerned for the physical safety of a group of
prisoners who are being held in incommunicado detention in the García Moreno
prison in Quito, the capital.
According to information received by Amnesty International, on 1 August 1993,
a group of some eleven prisoners were caught trying to escape from García Moreno
prison. They were reportedly seriously beaten by the prison guards and the
police and have since been held in incommunicado detention. Witnesses have
stated that following the beating they saw some of these prisoners, Saúl Vega
among them, being dragged to the jail's medical clinic.
According to reports, relatives, human rights workers and a member of Parliament
have tried to see the prisoners on several occasions but have been denied access
to them by the prison authorities. The prisoners have not been seen since their
reported beating.
Ecuadorean law does not allow for more than 48 hours of incommunicado detention
(as stated in the Penal Code) and there is serious concern for the physical
safety of these prisoners.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Information received by Amnesty International over the years suggest that
torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects is common practice during police
interrogation and has been reported from some of Ecuador's prisons. Ecuadorean
legislation forbids the use of torture and the government has ratified
international treaties that oppose its use, including the United Nations
Convention Against Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
States parties to this Convention are bound to prevent torture and make it
a punishable offence.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the physical safety of a group of prisoners, including
Ademir Amur and Saúl Vega, who were caught trying to escape from García Moreno
prison on 1 August 1993 and were reportedly beaten by the prison guards and
the police;
- asking for information on their well-being;
- urging that they be allowed access to relatives, lawyers and a medical doctor
of their choice;
- seeking guarantees for their physical safety;
- urging that a full investigation be carried out into the reported ill-treatment
of the prisoners and that if these reports are substantiated that the
perpetrators be brought to justice.
Page 2 of UA 272/93
APPEALS TO
1) President of Ecuador:
Sr. Sixto Durán Ballén
Presidente de la República
del Ecuador
Palacio de Gobierno
García Moreno 1043
Quito
ECUADOR
Telegrams: Presidente Ballen, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22375/22201 prerep ed
Salutation: Sr Presidente / Dear President
2) Minister of the Government and Police:
Sr. Ministro Marcelo Santos
Ministro de Gobierno y Policía
Ministerio de Gobierno y Policía
Espejo y Benalcázar
Quito
ECUADOR
Telegrams: Ministro Govierno Barreiro, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22354 mingob ed
Salutation: Sr. Ministro Marcelo Santos / Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Organization:
Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos
Apartado 720 A
Quito
ECUADOR
and to diplomatic representatives of Ecuador accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 24 September 1993.

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