A controversial prison in Tasmania has been likened to conditions in the Guantanamo Bay prison that houses terrorist prisoners. Tasmania Ombudsman Simon Allston discovered prisoners have been held in solitary confinement for months without being told anything about what they must do in order to be placed in a normal prison unit. “I have been told,” he said, “that they have been held in the unit without any certainty about what they have to do to work their way out of the unit, or any certainty about when they will leave the unit if they behave.” His investigation will pursue finding whether the management of the prison is in accord with international human rights standards.
The treatment of prisoners reflects how a society regards its commitment to human rights. Keeping people without food for fifteen hours or restricting them to a few hours walking in a narrow space is not what those who believe in human rights regard as how modern society behaves in respect to those who have been incarcerated.