Home | News    Friday 11 January 2013

N. Bahr el Ghazal: Four inmates die from overcrowding, diseases

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January 10, 2013 (JUBA) – At least four inmates at a central prison in Aweil, the Northern Bahr El Ghazal state capital have reportedly died from illness and overcrowding, eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune.

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Inmates attend classes in Malakal Central Prison, December 12, 2012 (ST)

The prison facility, reportedly built to accommodate about 200 inmates, currently has nearly 500 prisoners, on charges ranging from adultery, theft to murder.

Jackline Nyibol, the state minister of information admits some inmates could have died because of over congestion in the prison. She however denied reports of an alleged outbreak of the viral hemorrhage fever in the cell.

“There is a rumor that there is an outbreak [of] diseases in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, which [is] not true yet. I want to assure the public especially people of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and South Sudan in particular that we do not have any outbreak of any disease in Aweil at the moment,” Nyibol told Sudan Tribune.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official, who preferred anonymity, also denied claims of any disease outbreak, describing the health situation in Aweil prison as “normal”.

“As of yesterday night up to today afternoon, there is no prisoner in all the cells with signs and symptoms like for viral hemorrhage fever and especially with quoted sign, the nose bleeding. The general situation regarding [the] reported incidence is normal,” said the official.

Other sources, however, claimed some specimens were collected from prisoners in the cell and would be sent to Juba, the South Sudan capital for tests.

“11 more samples are collected today [Monday] to be sent [to Juba] on Friday. The targets were those who share the cell with the deceased, especially the one with nose bleeding also those who slept close to other prisoner with nose bleeding,” a source told Sudan Tribune.

“As of 1600hrs today 8 January 2013, from the Director of the Aweil Civil Hospital under the Ministry of Health, Dr. Garang, has verified 4 deceased male prisoners and 1 remaining male prisoner alive (previously reported deceased) currently in isolation and undergoing medical-lab investigation by a joint WHO and Ministry of Health team,” an updated statement from the state ministry of health reads in part.

It adds, “Three of the four deceased male prisoners were declared dead due to 2 cases of malaria and 1 case of severe, acute anemia. They did not exhibit any bleeding from facial orifices”.

Meanwhile, WHO, the statement further notes, has launched an investigation into what could have killed the four inmates.

Last year, a report by the US-based Human Rights Watch, deplored the poor state of detention centers across the 10 state of South Sudan, saying its “flawed processes, unlawful detentions, and dire conditions” reflect the urgent need to improve the country’s justice system.

The 105-page report, “Prison Is Not for Me: Arbitrary Detention in South Sudan", documents violations of due process rights, patterns of wrongful deprivation of liberty, and the harsh, unacceptable prison conditions in which detainees live.

A third of the young nation’s prison population, according to the report, have not been convicted of any offense or in some cases even charged with one, but are detained, often for long periods, waiting for police, prosecutors, and judges to process their cases.

Most of the detainees, it adds, lack legal representation because they can hardly afford to hire lawyers and South Sudan still lacks a functional legal aid system.

(ST)

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  • 11 January 2013 07:29, by aguotwany@live.com

    Terrible and tragedy death of our prisoners in the state of NBGS, we should do something to protect our population from unacceptable and unwanted prisonment . I intend this message to every South, Sudanese to act and build better future prisons with clean conditions. We can team to together and do it. To Mr.Garang Thomas the director in charge of NBGS hospital you need to request an assistance .

    repondre message

    • 11 January 2013 09:25, by Nuer Dominated Liberation of South Sudan

      Bahr el Ghazal, they have the money of all southern Sudanese Citizen..and stll they couldn’t even built prison for inmate...shame on you.

      repondre message

  • 11 January 2013 08:08, by Honesty

    Judges in ’weil are doing nothing and full of brive, a mere case could take solid 2 years with being finalise by judges. I hate what So called public atorney is of no use totally, they have 7 days close arrest to suspect of which a person can get sickness within 7 days and die. These 4 inmates died in hands of judges. May their soul rest in peace.

    repondre message

    • 11 January 2013 08:35, by Honesty

      Who is to blame for death of 4 inmates since their cases is not justified by those fake judges. For us to be free and fair in s.sudan public atorney should be abolished and caeses shall be transfered from police cusodty direct to court.

      repondre message

  • 11 January 2013 13:13, by Emporio

    overcrowded diseases i never heard about diseases like that in the world all my entire life,those are not innmates prison those are innicent who are victims of gorrilla practice who trying hard to become a judges with law in the rule of court the head of prison should resign and held accountable

    repondre message

  • 12 January 2013 07:15, by Gabriel KK

    Those prisoners are our brothers, sisters, fathers and unlcles. they should be treated with respect and dignity until the end of their terms in prison. our govt must do something to keep them safe and productive rather neglecting or using them as slaves in Govt official’s home. they shoud be given relevant skills in technical work and other important services in Govt chambers and not as SLAVES.

    repondre message

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