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27.01.2005 General News

Prisoners should be treated as human beings

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Ankaful (C/R) Jan. 27, GNA- The Acting Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Mrs Anna Bossman on Thursday expressed concern about the poor state of the country's prisons and police cells and treatment of the inmates.

She said the inherent dignity for humanity lies in the manner society treated suspects, adding: "As a people and as a nation which prides itself in upholding the rule of law and promoting and protecting human rights, we should be worried about how we treat prisoners". Mrs Bossman was speaking during an inspection of prisons and police cells in the Central Region.

He said prisoners have only been deprived of their liberties but not their dignity and should therefore be treated with respect and dignity.

"If we rob people of their dignity and treat them like animals, chances are that they will lash out at society and the detention facilities...will turn them into hardened criminals who have vengeance in their hearts."

Mrs Bossman noted that the Ankaful Prisons Annex was overcrowded, while the inmates are suffering from contagious diseases.

She said CHRAJ was also interested in the conditions of service of the Police and Prison Services and called on the government and other stakeholders to improve on the remuneration of the personnel.

Mr Emmanuel Kweenu Bodai, Acting Regional Director of CHRAJ, expressed concern about the state of the nation's prisons and the dehumanising conditions there, saying such a situation "cannot earn the nation a middle income status".

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