An independent entity comprising nongovernmental organizations and experts is needed to monitor human rights conditions in prisons, according to Dr. Ole Rasmussen of the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

"Our committee believes that prison authorities' cooperation with (the) outside world, including NGOs," will be necessary to halt the abuse of prisoners, the 57-year-old Danish physician told The Japan Times in a recent interview.

"It has become more and more internationally agreed that there should be cooperation with NGOs or other outside authorities, who are in the right position to monitor human rights abuses."