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Amnesty International, 18 May 1993
Amnesty International condemns corporal punishment of 11-year-old boy
Amnesty International has expressed its grave concern to the government of Trinidad and Tobago about the case of an 11-year-old boy who was sentenced to receive a flogging of 20 strokes on 23 April 1993. The sentence was immediately carried out and the magistrate further ordered the boy to be confined until 30 April and that he should receive no visitors.
The boy had pleaded guilty to a charge of being in possession of cocaine. He was allegedly given a very small sum of money to carry the drugs from one adult to another.
"With this sentence Trinidad and Tobago has violated international human rights standards which prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, including corporal punishment," Amnesty International said.
Trinidad and Tobago has ratified the three international conventions which prohibit torture and ill-treatment: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The latter convention says that if children are deprived of their liberty, they will have the right to maintain contact with their families through correspondence and visits. In this case these rights were not respected.
The human rights organization called on the government to introduce legislation to end the use of corporal punishment, both as a sentence of a court of justice and as a punishment for disciplinary offences in prison.
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