Cibitoke: two inmates died in the provincial police station’s cell

Cibitoke: two inmates died in the provincial police station’s cell

In less than a week, two detainees died in the cell of the Cibitoke police station (north-west Burundi). The overpopulation inside the custody and lack of food are alleged to be the causes. Human rights defenders call for assistance for detainees. The prosecutor confirms this information but speaks of only one dead inmate instead of two. He asks help from the benefactors to move defendants whose cases are already closed and who must be transferred to the central prison of Bujumbura (commercial city). INFO SOS Médias Burundi

They were all aged around thirty and detained in the cell of the provincial police station for more than three months.

The first inmate died on Tuesday September 5 and the other, two days later.

According to consistent sources, the victims died from lack of food.

One of their fellow detainees said that due to prison overcrowding and lack of food, most of the detainees have illnesses related to malnutrition and undernourishment.

A prison guard supported this thesis.

“No one gave them anything to eat. The two detainees were destitute and had no close families to provide them with provisions because one was from Bukinanyana commune and the other from Mabayi,” he regretted.

A human rights defender also speaks of prison overcrowding.

“These detainees were accused of simple offenses related to thefts in households. The promiscuity in this custody with a capacity of 20 people and which shelters for the moment more than 130 is at the origin of the poor conditions of detention observed in this cell,” he said.

According to him, if nothing is done immediately, other defendants risk dying.

“Most of the detainees are accused of minor offences. Their cases should not linger for long in the drawers of magistrates and Judicial Police Officers ( OPJs). It is necessary at all costs to speed up the trials of the majority of detainees often accused of larceny. This would help relieve this custody which does not have the minimum standards of a detention center,” he pointed out.

At the prosecutor’s office to the Cibitoke High Court, the judge confirmed “the death of one detainee who would have died following a long illness”.

He still admits the excess number of detainees in this custody. For him, lack of vehicles to transport prisoners whose sentences have been confirmed is one of the reasons. He asks the partners involved in human rights in general and the defense of the rights of prisoners in particular to provide support in terms of transport logistics to ensure the transport of detainees to detention houses, especially that of Mpimba in the commercial city Bujumbura.

Previous North Kivu: Congolese justice has opened an investigation into the case of the Goma demontrators massacres
Next DRC (Mulongwe) : refugees in search of firewood victims of rape