DECRY INMATES’ SITUATION AT THE PRISON CENTER
The Prison Fellowship Liberia has described the conditions of the inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison and prison facilities in other parts of the country as horrific and a time bomb due to the overcrowdedness and the inhuman environment.
The fellowship’s Country Director, Reverend Francis Kollie, expressed disappointment that the Liberian government would treat its citizens in such a manner. He alleged that it is all because the courts are now using the precondition of releasing the inmates for money making
Reverend Kollie made the disclosure shortly after the donation of a generator and food items to the Monrovia Central Prison by the Prison Fellowship Liberia with funding from the Keyara’s Gift.
According to him, his guests who accompanied him on the tour of the Monrovia Central Prison were in tears because they were horrified and surprised at how a government, which often boast of good human rights records will treat its own citizens and foreign national who have come in conflict with the law, like wild beasts.
He explained that the rooms for the inmates are so overcrowded that some are using the cloths tied to iron widows as beds since there is not enough space on the floor. The Prison Fellowship Liberia Country Director predicted that the situation may give rise to jailbreak where people may lose their lives.
“As I am speaking, the President executive clemency granted for the release of about 500 inmates has gone on the opposite with the dramatic increase on the number of inmate’s incarceration.”
Kollie alleged that the courts are making money out of the incarceration of inmates because it has become a pre-condition for the release of detainees of some who have overstayed the statutory period.
“As for the women’s ward which was constructed for less than five inmates, is now hosting more than 45 women including pregnant women, behind bars for months just owing 2,000 Liberian Dollars. It is about time that the Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor awakens from his slumber and visits the Monrovia Central Prison and other prison facilities to see the dehumanizing conditions of prisons in Liberia. With two more months before he retires, he needs to see things for himself or he will be leaving a bad legacy.”
Rev. Kollie stressed that the story is the same in every prison he visited and the government is giving no attention to the dehumanizing conditions which inmates in prison facilities face.
Meanwhile, the preacher man differs from President George Weah in his claim that his government has respect for human rights and justice in the country. According to him, if the CDC-led government really does not have respect for human rights as evident by the detention of its citizens in such an inhuman manner and people dying without being given justice.
“I am so discouraged with this judicial system, the rule of law, and the access to justice program in Liberia because the prisons are overcrowded, their rights are abused and there are too many mysterious deaths in the country.”
Reverend Kollie somersault and said he cannot blame the Ministry of Justice because they have to receive funding from the Finance Ministry to undertake prison reforms.
“This is an indication of the lip service our leaders continue to mislead the masses, especially those whose rights have been abused as a result of their conflict with the law. Our government and its officials are not serious and I am worried about the information my guests will give when they have returned to their country”
The 14-man delegation of Keyara’s Gift was in Liberia as a part of the celebration of their fifth anniversary and as part of their activities. They distributed food items to children, most of whose parents have been affected by the Ebola, Covid-19 as well as visited children of inmates who benefited from the Keraya’s Gift scholarship program. The group distributed medicines to clinics and orphanages in Liberia.
The group call for the overcrowdedness of the prisons is not new to the public. It can be recalled early this year, the head of the Monrovia Central Prison complained on national radio of over crowdedness of the prison and the shortage of food for the inmates. On that same day, Indian Business Man, Dr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva commonly known in Liberia as Mr. Jeety provided cook meals for the inmates which have become a tradition for the businessman to supply cook meals for the prison center twice a month. Dr. Jeety also provided a running water system to the prison facility.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius
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