13 Aug 2007

Samoa's prison punishment cell closed after Supreme Court ruling

5:20 am on 13 August 2007

Samoa's police commissioner, Papali'i Lorenese Neru, has announced the permanent closure of the punishment cell at Tafa'igata prison.

The decision comes after the supreme court judge, Lesatele Rapi Va'ai, ruled the practice of locking up prisoners in solitary confinement naked was inhumane.

The ruling came after a prisoner was locked in the cell for seven days and seven nights without food or proper water supplies.

He had been found in the possession of narcotics.

The police commissioner says the punishment cell will never be used again but the ministry is looking at changing the Prisons Act 1967 in consultation with the Attorney General's office.

Tafa'igata prison was built by the Germans back in the 1900. end