The United Nations Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Offenders: An Overview With Specific Reference to the Situation in Developing Countries
Anyone who reads the newspapers or watches the miracle of CNN on television cannot escape noting the atrocities committed against prisoners in so many parts of the world. Just recently, atrocities have been reported by the Serbs against Muslim prisoners in Bosnia-Herzogovina. by the Whites against black prisoners in South Africa, by fascist regimes against political prisoners in Latin America, and by the Israeli authorities against Arab prisoners. The world also recalls with horror the atrocities committed by the Iraqis against Kuwaiti prisoners whose sole crime was attempting to liberate their homeland during the Iraqi occupation of 1990-1991. The mistreatment of prisoners is neither new to the history of man. nor is it limited to developing countries. It is the egotistical constitution of man which favors conquest over tolerance, power over reason, and humiliation over kindness. The mistreatment of prisoners has existed in just about every country, in one form or another, at one time or another in its development. Socrates, Jesus. Maciavelli. Thomas More. Galileo. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, to mention just a few, are "living proof of such acts of inmate oppression. Apostle Paul, perhaps because of his personal prison experience, wrote in the message to the Hebrews: "Remember those in prison as though you are imprisoned with them" (Hebrews 13: 3).