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Human rights observers address crisis in Dominican Republic’s prisons


By Dominicantoday

March 21, 2024


Credits @FFHR.CZ



Santo Domingo.- Communicator Manuel Meccariello, Director of the Human Rights Observatory for Vulnerable Groups, has voiced grave concerns regarding the dire state of prisons in the Dominican Republic.


Describing the situation as “horrific,” Meccariello has urgently called upon authorities to take immediate action to address this humanitarian crisis.


The recent tragic incident at La Victoria Penitentiary, resulting in numerous casualties due to a fire, has underscored the pressing need to confront the systemic issues plaguing the nation’s correctional facilities.


You may be interested in reading: La Victoria Penitentiary incident claims 11 lives

Meccariello stressed the necessity for accountability in the aftermath of this tragedy, condemning the lack of safety measures, overcrowding, and negligence that contributed to the preventable loss of life.


The Observatory has issued a pressing appeal to authorities to relocate inmates to suitable facilities, such as the pavilions at the Las Parras complex, which remains unused despite being constructed with taxpayer funds.


They find it unacceptable for prisons like La Victoria Penitentiary to remain operational, given its history of corruption, human rights violations, and indignity toward inmates.


Furthermore, the Observatory has highlighted a litany of irregularities and human rights abuses persisting in Dominican prisons, including inadequate security measures, deplorable overcrowding, financial exploitation of inmates, and cruel punishment practices.


Meccariello emphasized, “It is unconscionable that in the 21st century, the human rights of incarcerated individuals in our prisons continue to be blatantly violated.” He urged authorities to implement immediate measures to ensure the fundamental rights of all individuals deprived of liberty in the Dominican Republic are respected.


The Human Rights Observatory for Vulnerable Groups remains committed to closely monitoring the situation in Dominican prisons and collaborating with authorities and civil society to enact meaningful reforms that uphold human rights within the country’s correctional system.




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