Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1



Prisoner Rights

• To receive rations or meals;
• To receive clothing, bedding, soap and medicine;
• To exercise;
• To medical treatment;
• If a prisoner is female, to be kept separate from male prisoners;
• Not to be assaulted by prison guards unless he/she has attempted to escape, been riotous or violent, or has disobeyed an order;
• To make complaints to the Officer in Charge.

A prisoner may also have the right:
• To work reasonable hours;
• To be free from unreasonable searches at night time;
• To correspond with family and/or receive visitors; and
• To notify family members when sick.

Humanity, dignity and respect while in detention

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has made it clear that prisoners enjoy all the rights in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), subject to 'restrictions that are unavoidable in a closed environment'. (General Comment No.21)

One right of special importance to prisoners is the right to be treated with humanity, dignity and respect while in detention. This human right is set out in articles 7 and 10 of the ICCPR, article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and in the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT

The right to vote

Another right of special relevance to prisoners is the right to vote (ICCPR, article 25). Often prisoners have been denied their right to vote in federal elections while they are serving their sentence. Some argue that it may be reasonable to punish prisoners who have committed serious crimes by depriving them of the right to vote.

However, the United Nations Human Rights Committee considers that depriving persons who have been convicted of a felony of the right to vote does not meet the obligations in article 25 of the ICCPR nor does it serve the rehabilitation goals of article 10(3) of the Convenant. (Human Rights Committee 18 December 2006)

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network


P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at)


"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910