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USA: Reintroduction of chain gangs - cruel and degrading

, Index number: AMR 51/135/1995

Chain gangs - the forcing of prisoners to do hard manual labour while shackled together, last used in USA thirty years ago, were re-introduced into the prison systems of Alabama and Arizona this year. AI believes that the operation of chain gangs violates international standards on the treatment of prisoners. AI is also concerned about the use of the "hitching rail" - a metal restraining post to which inmates are handcuffed if they refuse to join a chain gang.

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