EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 28/06/93
UA 272/93 Ill-treatment/Fear for safety 13 August 1993
ECUADOR: Eleven prisoners including:
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
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.
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