Decongest prisons – MHRC – Capital Radio Malawi
22 June, 2024

Malawi Human Rights Commission(MHRC) has called on authorities and relevant stakeholders to swiftly act on overcrowding in prisons across the country, at it remains a challenge.

Speaking to Capital FM, MHRC Executive Secretary Habiba Osman admits the situation is worrying citing that among others, right to health for the inmates is compromised.

Osman decries the fact that prisoners are widely exposed to high disease infections giving an example HIV/AIDS.

Some of the factors that are contributing to continued congestion of the country’s prisons, are custodial sentences for petty crimes, delayed trail which is increasing the number of people serving on prolonged remand.

She has since called on relevant stakeholders to work with government in ensuring that prisons are decongested soon in adherence to the set rights convention.

The MHRC has thus called for adequate funding towards the cause, so as to limit some of the challenges that arise because of spiked population in the country’s penitentiary system.

“We need to also keep in mind that these are human beings who also need to live in dignified places as opposed to the current state in our prisons across the country,” Osman explained.

Currently there some efforts that are being made towards addressing congestion in prisons.

One of such efforts is the European Union (EU) funded Chilungamo project, which prison authorities have pointed out is making a positive impact.

One of the United Nations Human Rights basic principles for the treatment of prisoners provides that all inmates should be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.

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