Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The law does not specifically prohibit torture, and the government has signed but not ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Caning may be ordered for 95 offenses under 12 different pieces of legislation including secular law, and it is mandatory for some offenses. The government has not implemented the second phase of the Sharia Penal Code (SPC), which includes offenses punishable by caning. The SPC prohibits caning those younger than 15 years. Secular law prohibits caning for women, boys younger than eight years, men older than 50 years, and those ruled unfit for caning by a doctor. Juvenile boys older than eight may be caned with a “light rattan” stick. Canings were conducted in the presence of a doctor, who could interrupt the punishment for medical reasons. The government generally applied laws carrying a sentence of caning impartially; the government sometimes deported foreigners in lieu of caning.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
There were no significant reports regarding prison or detention center conditions that raised human rights concerns.
Administration: A government-appointed committee composed of retired government officials monitors prison conditions and investigates complaints concerning prison and detention center conditions.
The prison system has an ombudsperson’s office through which judiciary officials, legislative council members, community leaders, and representatives of public institutions visit inmates on a monthly basis. A prisoner may complain to a visiting judge, the superintendent, the officer in charge, or, in the case of female prisoners, the matron in charge.
Independent Monitoring: There were no reports of independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) monitoring prison conditions.
Improvements: In February, the Prison Department met with local NGOs to seek feedback on prisoner reintegration programs.