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This week Amnesty International launched a global campaign calling for the authorities in the United States to end the solitary confinement of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. They state that "the treatment to which the two men have been subjected was 'cruel and inhumane' and amounted to a violation of the US' obligations under international law".
Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty's deputy director for America said "We are not aware of any other case in the USA where individuals have been subjected to such restricted human contact for such a prolonged period of time." Amnesty has also raised questions about the legal aspects of the case including the lack of any physical evidence linking Herman and Albert to Brent Miller's murder, lost DNA evidence and convictions based on questionable inmate testimony.
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Read/Download the full report: USA: 100 years in solitary: 'The Angola 3' and their fight for justice.
Below is the full press release written by Amnesty International, also available online.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
EMBARGO: 7 June 2011, 00:01Hs GMT.
USA urged to end inmates' 40 year-long solitary confinement
The US state of Louisiana must immediately remove two inmates from the solitary confinement they were placed in almost 40 years ago, Amnesty International said today.
Albert Woodfox, 64, and Herman Wallace, 69, were placed in "Closed Cell Restriction (CCR)" in Louisiana State Penitentiary - known as Angola Prison - since they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1972. Apart from very brief periods, they have been held in isolation ever since.
"The treatment to which Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have been subjected for the past four decades is cruel and inhumane and a violation of the US's obligations under international law," said Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
"We are not aware of any other case in the USA where individuals have been subjected to such restricted human contact for such a prolonged period of time."