L’ONU demande au pays de libérer les prisonniers pour éviter la propagation du Covid-19

L’ONU demande au pays de libérer les prisonniers pour éviter la propagation du Covid-19

« Le Covid-19 a commencé à frapper les prisons, les maisons d’arrêt et les centres de détention d’immigrants, ainsi que les centres de soins résidentiels et les hôpitaux psychiatriques, et risque de causer des ravages auprès des populations extrêmement vulnérables au sein de ces institutions », a déclaré Mme Bachelet dans un communiqué de presse.

« Dans de nombreux pays, les centres de détention sont surpeuplés, et représentent même un danger dans certains cas. Les gens sont souvent détenus dans de mauvaises conditions d’hygiène et les services de santé sont insuffisants, voire inexistants. L’éloignement physique et l’isolement sont pratiquement impossibles dans de telles conditions », a-t-elle ajouté.

La Haut-Commissaire note que les gouvernements font face à d’énormes demandes en matière de ressources durant cette crise et sont amenés à prendre des décisions difficiles.

« Néanmoins, je les exhorte à ne pas oublier les personnes incarcérées, ou celles qui sont confinées dans des centres tels que des établissements de santé mentale fermés, des maisons de retraite ou des orphelinats, car les négliger pourrait avoir des conséquences catastrophiques », a-t-elle dit. « Il est vital que les gouvernements prennent en compte la situation des personnes détenues dans leur plan d’action de crise, de manière à protéger les détenus, le personnel, les visiteurs et bien entendu l’ensemble de la société ».

Nombre croissant de décès signalés dans les prisons

Selon Mme Bachelet, face à la flambée de la maladie et au nombre croissant de décès déjà signalés dans les prisons et d’autres centres dans de plus en plus de pays, les autorités devraient agir dès maintenant pour empêcher de nouvelles pertes humaines parmi les détenus et le personnel.

La Haut-Commissaire a exhorté les gouvernements et les autorités compétentes à travailler rapidement pour réduire le nombre de personnes en détention, en faisant remarquer que plusieurs pays ont déjà entrepris des actions positives. Les autorités devraient examiner les moyens de libérer les personnes particulièrement vulnérables au Covid-19, parmi eux les détenus les plus âgés et ceux malades, ainsi que les délinquants présentant un risque faible. Elles devraient également continuer de répondre aux besoins de santé spécifiques aux femmes détenues, notamment celles enceintes, ainsi qu’à ceux des détenus handicapés et mineurs.

« Aujourd’hui plus que jamais, les gouvernements devraient libérer toute personne détenue sans fondement juridique suffisant, y compris les prisonniers politiques et les personnes détenues simplement pour avoir exprimé des opinions critiques ou dissidentes », a souligné Mme Bachelet.

Une fois libérées, ces personnes devraient être soumises à un examen médical et des mesures devraient être prises pour veiller à ce qu’elles reçoivent les soins et le suivi nécessaires, y compris un suivi médical.

« En vertu du droit international des droits de l’homme, les États doivent prendre les mesures nécessaires pour prévenir des menaces prévisibles pour la santé publique et doivent veiller à ce que toute personne nécessitant des soins médicaux essentiels puisse les recevoir », a indiqué la Haut-Commissaire.
Devoir de protéger la santé physique et mentale des détenus

Concernant les personnes en détention, l’État a le devoir de protéger la santé physique et mentale ainsi que le bien-être des détenus, tel qu’énoncé dans l’Ensemble de règles minima pour le traitement des détenus (également connu sous le nom de Règles Nelson Mandela).

Les mesures prises durant une crise sanitaire ne devraient pas porter atteinte aux droits fondamentaux des personnes détenues, y compris leurs droits à l’eau et à une alimentation adéquate. Les garanties contre les mauvais traitements sur des personnes en garde à vue, notamment l’accès à un avocat et à un médecin, devraient également être pleinement respectées.

« Les restrictions concernant les visites de centres fermés peuvent être nécessaires pour aider à prévenir les flambées de Covid-19, mais ces mesures doivent être introduites de manière transparente et être clairement communiquées aux personnes affectées. L’arrêt soudain de contacts avec le monde extérieur risque d’aggraver des situations déjà tendues, difficiles et potentiellement dangereuses », a-t-elle prévenu. Elle a pris comme exemples plusieurs mesures prises dans certains pays, comme l’utilisation plus répandue de systèmes de vidéoconférence, l’augmentation des appels téléphoniques avec les membres de la famille et l’autorisation des courriels.

« Le Covid-19 représente un énorme défi pour l’ensemble de la société, alors que les gouvernements prennent des mesures pour imposer l’éloignement physique. Il est primordial que de telles mesures soient suivies, mais je suis profondément préoccupée par le fait que certains pays menacent d’imposer des peines de prison pour ceux qui ne les respectent pas. Cela risque d’exacerber la situation déjà tendue dans les prisons et de n’avoir que des effets limités sur la propagation de la maladie », a averti Mme Bachelet. « L’emprisonnement devrait être une mesure de dernier recours, surtout durant cette crise ».

Source : newsunorg

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