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Red Cross visits high profile prisoners

Pascalinah Kabi

THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), says it will soon give recommendations to Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) on the treatment of prisoners after its recent visit to the Maseru Prison.

The ICRC is an independent international organisation which works to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.

It responds to emergencies and promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national laws.

An ICRC delegation was recently in the country and last Wednesday it visited the Maseru Prison to inspect the treatment and conditions of political detainees at the facility.

Lesotho has several high ranking army officers that are detained at the Maseru Prison, among them former army commander, Retired Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, who was arrested in November 2017 and is awaiting trial for murder and 14 attempted murder charges.

The IRCR Head of Communications – Southern Africa, Tendayi Sengwe said they visited Lesotho “to monitor the treatment and conditions of detention of persons detained in connection with political events in Lesotho.”

He said the ICRC delegation would soon make recommendations to the LCS regarding the “measures, if any, to ensure the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention comply with relevant national and international standards”.

“The recommendations will be made directly to the detaining authorities and will remain confidential,” he said.

A government source told the Sunday Express that the ICRC delegation met with Lt-Gen Kamoli to establish whether or not he was treated well in custody.

“Kamoli is one of the high profile prisoners that the Red Cross visited and had lengthy discussions with in an effort to establish if his treatment in prison was in line with international best practices,” the source said.

Mr Sengwe however, said he was not at liberty to disclose the names of the individuals the ICRC held discussions with in prison.

“In line with standard procedures for ICRC visits to places of detention, we cannot discuss the identity or condition of persons visited by the ICRC,” Mr Sengwe said.

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