Togo: Sygdom og død hærger uhumske og overfyldte fænglser

Forfatter billede

Det vestafrikanske lands 12 fængsler kæmper med at holde sygdom og død fra døren med alt for mange fanger, alt for lidt mad, dårlig medicinsk pleje og hygiejne. “Vi sover som sardiner i en dåse”, udtaler fange til Irin News.

LOME, 5. september, 2012 (IRIN): Drawn-out court cases and procedures, arbitrary (vilkårlige) arrests as well as the detention of petty offenders without the option of bail are among the factors causing prison congestion, according the Togolese Human Rights League (LTDH).

“The prison overpopulation is very alarming. The consequences are dire, indeed fatal for the detainees,” LTDH president Raphaël Kpandé-Adjaré told IRIN.

Of the 3.844 prisoners in Togo, only 1.347 are convicts (dømte). The rest, about 65 percent, are awaiting trial and half of them have not been charged, according to the prison authorities.

In the main prison in the capital Lomé, there are 1.844 inmates yet the prison was meant to hold 666. At a prison in Tsévié area, 30 km from the capital, 228 people have been locked up in a facility designed to hold 66 – almost four times the capacity.

“We sleep very close to one another, with our heads on someone else’s feet, like sardines in a tin. At night we sleep in shifts, while some lie down, the others stand against the wall waiting impatiently for their turn,” an inmate in the Lomé prison told IRIN on condition of anonymity.

Sixteen-year-old Amenoussi Dieudonné who was detained for a month after being arrested in June with a group of protesters demanding fair elections said: “During my 30-day detention in Lomé prison, I never lay down. I stayed upright all night and my feet were so swollen.”

Justice Minister Tchitchao Tchalim said in August that 28 prisoners had died in the first three months of 2012, while LTDH says 18 inmates died in the Lomé prison alone between January and May.

Judiciary accused

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