Rumonge : the government regrets the enormous expenses incurred in prisons

Rumonge : the government regrets the enormous expenses incurred in prisons

The Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, Prosper Bazombanza expressed the regrets of the government which plans to spend this year around 15 billion Burundi francs from its general budget for 2023-2024. According to Prosper Bazombanza, this money will be intended to feed, house, care for and clothe twelve thousand detainees incarcerated in 11 prisons and three re-education centers for minors in conflict with the law. According to him, this is wasted money which should be used in development works but which must be directed towards the treatment of one percent of the population living behind bars. He declared this on Tuesday, August 29, on the occasion of the celebration of the International Nelson Mandela Day at the central prison of Rumonge (southwest Burundi), a day normally celebrated on July 18 around the world. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Prosper Bazombanza reported that among those incarcerated, 53.89% are young people, or 6,539 prisoners whose age is between 16 and 36 years old.

Bazombanza says this is a category of the population that should participate in the development of their families while they spend years behind bars and expect everything from the government.

The Vice-President calls on prosecutors and judges of courts and tribunals to use community service instead of detention for minor offenses, in order to relieve prison congestion.

He indicated that the capacity of all prisons is far lower than the current prison population of these prisons.

According to Prosper Bazombanza, judges should remember the sacrosanct rule in matters of detention which says that “freedom is the rule, detention an exception”.

According to the Vice-President of the Republic, the celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day by Burundi is proof for him that his government is implementing the United Nations minimum rules for the treatment of detainees.

Rules of which the latest revised version was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 through resolution A/Res/70/175.

Bazombanza clarified that the government of Burundi is sparing no effort to ensure that these rules are applied. He mentions “the premises of the various prisons which are regularly maintained so that the prisoners are incarcerated in good hygienic conditions, as evidenced by the central prison of Murembwe in Rumonge which was completely repainted on the occasion of this international day of prisoners dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

In this prison, the prisoners’ representative recognized that the inmates of Murembwe central prison benefit from supervision. Thus, they learn new professions which allow them to be reintegrated into their community of origin once they are released.

However, this detainee deplored the excessive slowness in the processing of cases, the lack of vehicles to evacuate sick detainees to Rumonge hospital and to other jurisdictions for prisoners whose cases are the responsibility of other prosecutors.

According to him, this lack of means of transportation affects the right of detainees to have access to justice in real time and to health care.

Mr. Bazombanza announced that to resolve the issue of the delay in judgments, the government with its main partners in the penitentiary sector are analyzing how to set up a remote jurisdiction system. Prisons will be equipped with communication equipment and adequate infrastructure to facilitate the rapid analysis of cases.

Murembwe central prison, which hosted the Nelson Mandela International Day ceremonies, currently hosts 1,023 inmates, or 127.875% of its capacity of 800 places.

This day is celebrated for the third time in Burundi since its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

On the sidelines of the ceremonies, 31 detainees from Murembwe central prison benefited from provisional release by the prosecution. 10 immediately received enlargement tickets.

The latter were released from this detention center the same day.

The others should wait for the identification of their judicial files, according to the prosecution, to leave the prison.

The prosecution justified this by the concern for verification so as not to make mistakes in their cases.

Previous Burundi : President Neva's speech to reinforce the acts of violence of Imbonerakure, according to Carina Tertsakian
Next Gitega : President Neva attacks magistrates again