News & Analysis: Prisons

Windhoek inmates fear for their safety

“Inmates at Windhoek Correctional Facility fear contracting COVID-19 after four of them, who spent time in a cell with other inmates, tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.”

via The Namibian

African migrants ‘left to die’ in Saudi Arabia’s hellish COVID-19 detention centres

“Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, is keeping hundreds if not thousands of African migrants locked in heinous conditions reminiscent of Libya’s slave camps as part of a drive to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

via The Telegraph (UK)

COVID-19 state of emergency inquiry board recommends releasing prisoners who qualify for pardon, probation to reduce virus spread (Ethiopia)

“The recommendation comes amidst growing fears of the spread COVID-19 in congested holding centers, many of which are schools, town halls and warehouses converted into detention facilities. According to the statement the Inquiry Board sent to ENA, members of the board discussed the potential threats to the state at the end of the state of emergency and recommended releasing detainees.”

via Addis Standard

Deadly virus spreading in Egypt prisons

“At least 14 prisoners have died from likely COVID-19 complications in scantly-monitored outbreaks of the disease at Egyptian detention centers.”

via Arab News

Almost 600 coronavirus infections in SA’s prisons

“There has been a steep jump in the number of coronavirus infections in the prison system. On Saturday, the number of infections stood at 388 but by Sunday the number had jumped to 571.”

via Sowetan Live

Coronavirus in Africa: Prison fever

“What are the consequences of the pandemic on the living conditions in African prisons?”

via Prison Insider

South Africa to grant 19,000 inmates parole to curb coronavirus spread

“South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday some low-risk prisoners would be granted parole to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities. Around 19,000 people would be freed by the move, taken in response to a U.N. call on all countries to reduce prison populations so that social distancing and self-isolation conditions could be observed, Ramaphosa said.”

via Reuters

Prisons in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Africa

“There have been calls to release detainees, usually coming from NGOs (in South Africa and Cameroon for example) and lawyers (in Algeria), in order to allow health authorities to be able to monitor and protect the prison environment.”

via African Arguments

Guinea and Sierra Leone report COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons

“The coronavirus disease has reached prisons in Guinea and Sierra Leone, government officials said on Tuesday, raising the spectre of outbreaks in unsanitary and overcrowded jails. Bouna Yattassaye, the deputy director-general of Guinea’s national health security agency said that authorities had discovered an infection in the capital Conakry’s central prison.”

via BusinessDay (South Africa)

Moroccan prison becomes coronavirus hotspot

“Sixty-eight people, mostly staff, have come down with the coronavirus at a prison in the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, prison authorities said on Tuesday, without reporting any deaths. Earlier this month Morocco released 5,645 prisoners – some of them in poor health – to help reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading in its prisons as has happened in other countries.”

via Reuters