Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zim prisoners starving to death

from SWRadioAfrica:

A major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Zimbabwe’s prisons, due to lack of food and a total break down of the prison service. It’s reported that inmates ravaged by disease and hunger are ‘dying like flies’ with no solution in sight. This is happening while the ‘chefs’ continue to splash out millions of dollars on fancy cars for themselves.

Although access to the prisons is restricted, reports from relatives and friends of inmates have exposed the dire situation. This past week an estimated 1,300 people at Harare Central Prison were left to starve, as the prison ran out of food completely....

A rights activist, speaking on condition of anonymity on Monday, said the inmates at Harare Central are fed just once a day, at around 3pm, and on Sunday they had a few soya beans, with nothing else.
We were not able to get prison authorities to confirm the situation, but our source said about 10 inmates are dying everyday at Harare Central Prison alone.

“It’s pretty shocking when we’ve got between 1,300 and 1,500 prisoners in a prison and there is no food to feed them. If you are in the bush you can forage, but in a prison there is not much you can do if you are not getting food,” the activist said. Many prisoners have suppressed immune systems, due to HIV infection, a situation that is worsened by lack of proper food.

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