October 30, 2019

Country’s Jails Are 24% Over Populated – Rights Commission

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On December 24, last year, in Musanze district prison, mothers in the final months of the jail term were hosted to a Christmas party. Musanze jail is one of the highly overcrowded jails

The National Human Rights Commission said Wednesday in Parliament that prison population has been on steady rise over the last 5 years.

The joint session of parliament heard that the overcrowding is as a result of three factors: increasing cases of defilement, drug abuse and theft.

Back in 2014, prison population was at 96.6% national average, but has since reached 124.8 percent as of July 2019, according to commission chairperson Nirere Madeleine.

There are slightly over 65,000 inmates in Rwanda’s prisons located in different districts. About 28,000 of them are genocide convicts.

Rwamagana district jail in eastern province is the most crowded followed by Musanze, Gicumbi, Bugesera, Huye, Rusizi and Muhanga district jails.

In other issues, the human rights commission also told parliament that it was concerned over high number of people in jails without going to court and for too long, high number of people kept at transit centers for too long and many pending cases.

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