NGO Coalition raises concerns over alleged medical neglect leading to inmate's death

NGO Coalition raises concerns over alleged medical neglect leading to inmate's death

By Rashika Kumar
Thursday 22/02/2024
[Image: File]

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights in Fiji says they are disturbed by media reports and social media updates about an alleged case of medical neglect that resulted in the recent death of a 60-year-old inmate at the Naboro Minimum Corrections Centre.

The Fiji Corrections Service is investigating the death to determine the circumstances surrounding incident on Saturday, 10th February at the CWM Hospital.

They also confirmed to fijivillage News that the deceased inmate had hypertension and an enlarged heart.

A post on facebook had made allegations that the Officer in Charge did not allow the inmate to be taken to the hospital for chest pains.

The NGO Coalition says they recognise that investigations have been launched to determine the case but at the time, emphasises that refusing medical services for inmates is a gross violation of their basic human rights.

NGO Coalition Chair, Shamima Ali says while details of this incident are yet to be confirmed by the Fiji Corrections Services, it is vital that whoever is responsible, be brought to task.

She says acts of torture and brutality have marred the reputation of corrections officers in the past and NGO Coalition urges everyone employed in this department to uphold the rights of the inmates under their supervision.

Ali says enough with the abuse and enough with the torture.

She regardless of legal standing, everyone, including members of the communities who are incarcerated, has the right to available medical services, and this is etched into international human rights laws including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many more.

The Chair says inmates are under the daily supervision of corrections officers who are to ensure that services such as urgent medical care is provided when needed, especially to the members of our society whose liberties have been limited.

She says the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that everyone has the right to a fair, independent and public trial (Article 10) and that torture, cruelty and degrading treatment or punishment are not allowed (Article 5).

Questions have been sent to the Fiji Corrections Service. They are yet to respond.

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