• Urgent Action


April 1, 2024

On December 22, 2023, detainees at Maseru Correctional Institution (MCCI), Lesotho, were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by the Correctional Services officers who beat the detainees with various weapons and denied them necessary medical care. Relatives witnessed visible injuries on their visit, prompting urgent legal action. On January 23, 2024, the High Court of Lesotho condemned the outdated use of corporal punishment against MCCI detainees, and an investigation launched by the Office of the Ombudsman of Lesotho revealed systemic failures contributing to the violations. The authorities must urgently implement the recommendations made by the Ombudsman – including accountability for the detainees at MCCI and ensure that they are protected from further torture and other ill-treatment.

take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 24.24. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

Minister of Law and Justice

Hon Richard Ramoeletsi

P.O. BOX 33, 100, Maseru, Lesotho

Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Lesotho in the United States

Ambassador Mr. Tumisang Mosotho

2511 Massachusetts Avenue,

NW, Washington DC 20008

Email: [email protected]

sample letter:

Dear Hon. Richard Ramoeletsi,

I am deeply concerned regarding the recent findings of human rights violations against detainees at Maseru Centre Correctional Institution, Lesotho. On December 22, 2023, eight detainees – Sebilo Sebilo, Mots’oane Machai, Nthathane Motanyane, Liphapang Sefako, Motsieloa Leutsoa, Mohlalefi Seitlheko, Marasi Moleli, Litekanyo Nyakane, and others who are awaiting trial at Maseru Centre Correctional Institution (MMCI) – were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) officers. On December 22, 2023, the detainees’ relatives visited MMCI and found them with visible injuries on their bodies.

The following day, relatives of the detainees filed an urgent application before the Maseru Court which sought to declare that MMCI officers and their subordinates acted unlawfully by imposing corporal punishment on the detainees and that their decision to refuse their applications to visit the detainees was unlawful.

I urge you to ensure the eight named detainees and others held at Maseru Centre Correctional Institution are protected from torture and other ill-treatment including by taking immediate steps to implement the recommendations put forth by the Office of the Ombudsman. I also call on you to ensure accountability by holding those responsible for the abuses accountable.  

Yours sincerely,