Statement of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) on its inspection of prisons, jails and lock-ups in Myanmar in 2020

1. Since its establishment under Order No. 3/2020 of the Office of the President on 14 January 2020, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) has inspected prisons, jails, police detention centres, court lock-ups and hospital guard-wards, on scheduled dates, in accordance with section 43 of the Commission Law in order to examine whether prisoners and detainees are treated in conformity with humanitarian norms, international human rights instruments and domestic legislation.

2. In inspecting, as stipulated in section 44 of the Commission law, spaces in the prisons, jails and lock-ups and facilities for those detained are examined and independent interviews with the prisoners and detainees are conducted. The findings of the inspections together with recommendations are referred to the relevant Union-Level organizations.
3. Since the commencement of its functions till July 2020, the Commission has inspected 10 prisons, 8 jails, 12 police detention centres, 7 court lock-ups and 5 hospital guard-wards as follows:

(a) 27 January to 1 February: Mandalay Central Prison; Meikhtila Prison; Htone Bo –Male 1, Htone Bo Male 2, Htone Bo Female , 24-mile and Phayar Ngasu Labour Camps; police detention centres, court lock-ups and hospital guard-wards in Meiktila.

(b) 18 to 21 February: Pyay Prison; Paungde Prison, police detention centres, court lock-ups and hospital guard-wards .
(c) 24 February: Sarmalaut Agricultural and Livestock Training School.

(d) 17 to 21 March: Putao Prison; Myitkyina Prison, police detention centres,court lock-ups and hospital guard-wards.
(e) 8 and 9 July: Insein Central Prison;

(f) 14 to 17 July: Yamethin Prison; Nay Pyi Taw Jail, Pyinmana police detention centre and labour camps 1 and 2 of Kintha.
(g) 23 July: Thayet Prison; Thayet police detention centre and court lock-up.

4. On these inspection tours, 361 prisoners and detainees were allowed to separately meet the inspection team to freely reveal their difficulties, violations of their rights and judicial matters without the presence of prison employees. After reviewing their revelations, the relevant organizations at the Union Level are informed accordingly.

5. The team carried out the inspections in accordance with the United Nations Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, contained in section 41 and section 42 of the Procedure of the MNHRC Law and, Myanmar Police Manual and, based on the findings, the following recommendations have already been put forward to the relevant Union-Level organizations:

(a) Related to health 37
(b) Related to education 10
(c) Related to administration 53
(d) Related to prison transfer 5
(e) Related to sanitation 13
(f) Related to family visit 8
(g) Related to food 6
(h) Related to library 1
(i) Related to prison buildings 11
(j) Related to Lack of
communications with families 1
(k) Related to appeal cases 1
(l) Related to drinking water 1

Total 147

6. While inspecting prisons, jails and lock-ups, the inspection team also monitored the implementation of the previous recommendations and progress achieved. The implementation of the new recommendations resulting from the current inspections will be re-examined as well on next inspection tours.

Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Date:12 August 2020

 

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