Torture of Detainees in Mauritius “frightening violation of basic human rights”: Cardinal

Maurice Cardinal Piat of Port Louis Diocese in Mauritius. Credit: Diocese of Port Louis

The reported police torture of detainees in Mauritius is a “frightening violation of basic human rights”, the Bishop of Port Louis Diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat, has said. 

In a Wednesday, June 1 statement, Cardinal Piat reacts to video recordings showing police torturing three handcuffed media. He expresses solidarity with the victims of torture and calls on Mauritian authorities to bring the perpetrators to book.

“Along with the population, I was horrified by the torture inflicted by members of the police force on citizens who were in their custody,” Cardinal Piat says.

He adds, “This frightening violation of basic human rights by police authorities who are supposed to enforce the law leaves the population feeling insecure.”

Through the practice of torture, the Mauritian Cardinal says, “the police, whose duty it is to protect citizens, become themselves a source of social disruption.”


He underscores the need to respect the fundamental rights of citizens saying that in all circumstances, “the dignity and fundamental rights of the human person must be respected.”

“No situation can excuse the transgression of these rights,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) emphasizes. 

“(The) police force also includes people of integrity who have a sense of duty and respect for the population,” he says, and adds, “That is why it is essential that the perpetrators of such gratuitous violence are severely punished and put out of action.”

The Cardinal says that Mauritians expect their authorities “to stand up for the values of the rule of law.”

“I am also thinking of the trauma experienced by the victims and their families and I extend my sympathy to them,” the 80-year-old Catholic Church leader says, adding that the victims “need all our support, our friendship and our solidarity in their distress.”

More in Africa

“This practice of torture by police officers not only injures the bodies of the victims but also the dignity of a person, his family and ultimately of the whole of society,” the Cardinal who has been at the helm of Port Louis Diocese since February 1993 says in his June 1 statement.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.