June 21, 2022
Cited article by Anna-Cat Brigida, Al Jazeera
HRRC condemns the absolute ill-treatment of those arrested in El Salvador. The continued violation of basic human rights and civil rights on the grounds of curtailing gang violence must end.
Since the El Salvador government imposed the state of exemption on March 27th, suspending specific civil liberties, at least 40 inmates have died in police custody. More than 40,000 people have been arrested over the past few months as the government pushes to crack down on gang-related crime. Reports indicate that the already stressed prison system is increasingly overcrowded, and those imprisoned have limited access to food or medical care while also being beaten by prison staff.
Human rights groups have documented that many of the inmates are not members of gangs, contrary to the El Salvador government's claim of arresting these individuals for involvement with gang-related activities. In addition, beyond the inhumane treatment, family members are not immediately notified about the deaths of their loved ones who were imprisoned. In a response to requests for additional information and the mistreatment to end from multiple human rights organizations, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele threatened to withhold meals from prisoners.