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Action Against Police Violence

29.12.2006



Recently the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam, said on the radio that there was no "evidence" of police brutality. The Association, JUSTICE, in which a number of Lalit militants are active, organized an action in response to his statement.

12 people who have been victims of police brutality themselves, and two widows who lost their husbands through police violence, met together with other JUSTICE members at the Human Rights monument on 8 December at Caudan Waterfront. They each had 150 copies of their testimony. "This is evidence", Bindoo Ramlogun said. Her huband, Rajesh, was beaten up in police custody in January 2006 and died as a result. They then selected a delegation to leave all the testimonies with at the Prime Minister's Office. The time of the demonstration coincided with the Cabinet of Ministers' weekly meeting, so as to emphasise the responsibility of the Cabinet, and in particular the Prime Minister who is also Minister of the Interior. The victims then distributed copies of the testimony to the public, and gave dossiers to the press.

In fact, the year 2006 has seen two relative victories over police violence, although it has continued unabated. Ms. Martine Desmarais won a damages case against the State and the notorious ASP Raddooa, and Ms. Veronique Topize, widow of Kaya, the famous singer who died in police custody, has received an out-of-court settlement from the State for his death. JUSTICE has also alerted all the associations in Mauritius about the failure of the National Human Rights Commission to stop police brutality.