Muramvya: the provincial prison remains overcrowded despite the release of around twenty detainees

Muramvya: the provincial prison remains overcrowded despite the release of around twenty detainees

Twenty-seven prisoners from Muramvya and Mwaro provinces (central Burundi) were released from Muramvya central prison earlier this month, as part of decongesting jails, prison officials say. However the move is far from solving the problem in Muramvya. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

All the released prisoners had already served a quarter of their sentence.

The decision however doesn’t solve the prison of overpopulation in the main prison of the province.

Built in 1948 with a capacity of 100 places it currently houses 796 prisoners, including seven infants.

Very precarious living conditions

Food is, according to the detainees, insufficient; 350 grams of beans and 350 grams of cassava flour per day per person.

Detainees from the province of Mwaro who rarely receive visits from their relatives due to the long distance they have to travel, say they have difficulty supporting themselves.

Added to this are repetitive stock shortages.

“If beans are available, there is a shortage of cassava flour and vice versa,” sources at Muramvya prison say.

Due to the excessive numbers, bedrooms are overwhelmed.

Some prisoners are forced to sleep out in the cold and mosquitoes, our sources report.

The concerned ask organizations defending the rights of prisoners to come to their aid.

Jean Paul Niyongabo, head of Muramvya central prison confirms the prison overcrowding in that establishment The problem also concerns all prisons in Burundi.

According to figures given by associations for the defense of prisoners’ rights and the general directorate of penitentiary affairs, the 11 prisons in the small East African nation house nearly 13,000 detainees while they have a capacity of reception of only 4,149 people.

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