UN condemns prison conditions in Haiti

In a report by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINOH), they lamented that inmates had only 0.24 square meters to survive “a little more than the surface of a chair”, receiving only one meal per day.

Under these circumstances, the number of deaths in prisons increased compared to previous years, and the authority, which recorded 97 deaths in 2022, confirmed 20 of them during the month of June.

Labino noted that the current prison conditions are unacceptable and pose serious human rights concerns.

In addition to the serious food shortage in prisons, detainees’ access to medical care is virtually non-existent, with only one doctor for every 1,016 inmates, and medical supplies are scarce and limited.

In this context, prisoners are almost completely dependent on the care provided by charities, whose conditions of detention are “torture” in themselves, they said.

They also criticized that the budget per day for each detainee is 106 gourdes (about 86 cents), but in practice the prison system spent only four gourdes (just over three cents) per day per inmate between November and May Past.

In the face of this situation, the United Nations encouraged the state to take effective and urgent measures to improve prison conditions and ensure financial, human and material resources for these institutions.

In addition, they noted that the problem of overcrowding cannot be resolved without reducing the rates of prolonged pretrial detention, which exceed 83 percent of persons deprived of their liberty.

The agency criticized that “this rate has not been this high before,” denouncing that some inmates have been imprisoned for more than three years without trial for a minor crime, while others have been waiting for nearly 10 years.

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Jha / An

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