News

UN expert flags 'daily violations' in Haiti prisons

Thursday, March 09, 2017 | 4:17 PM    

Print this page Email A Friend!


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — Inmates in Haiti are subjected to "daily violations" of their fundamental rights, mostly stemming from egregious prison overcrowding resulting from the overuse of lengthy preventive detentions, a UN official said Thursday.

Gustavo Gallon, a UN expert focusing on human rights, said the impoverished Caribbean nation often flouts UN incarceration standards of 4.5 metres (14.8 feet) of prison area per inmate.

By those norms, Haiti's prisons are overcrowded by some 644 per cent, Gallon said at a press conference in Port-au-Prince on his eighth visit to the divided Caribbean island shared with the Dominican Republic.

"The capacity of Haiti's prisons allow for just 1,600 inmates," according to the UN official, who said that as of December 31, the incarcerated population was more than 10,500.


Prisons are so crowded in the capital that inmates have just one-third of a square meter of living space -- "not even enough room if you're standing up in a cell," said Florence Elie, head of the office tasked with protecting the rights of Haitians.

Haitian prisons are also plagued by sanitation shortcomings that were worsened by a recent public health workers' strike, creating abysmal conditions that are expected to lead to scores of unnecessary deaths in the coming months.

"All judges and judicial officials, as well as the entire population, should visit the prisons to see firsthand the disgraceful way people deprived of their liberty are treated" in Haiti, Gallon said.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you believe Dr Peter Phillips will be a better People's National Party (PNP) president than Portia Simpson Miller?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT