Commission appointed to probe penal institutions

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 26, CMC -A nine member commission has been created by newly appointed President Jovenel Moise to probe prisons and overcrowded lockups across the country and to make recommendations to improve conditions for the inmates.
In a statement on Friday, Moise said the commission is expected to finish its review and submit a report within one month.
“Under my presidency, the Haitian nation will by no means ignore what seems to be a flagrant violation, even a contempt for the right to life that every individual should have, regardless of where he lives.”
The presidential announcement came a few days after the news agency – the Associated Press published a report on an upsurge of inmate deaths, including 21 last months at the country’s biggest prison, due in large part to malnutrition-related illnesses and other preventable diseases.
Last week Justice Minister Camille Edouard visited several prisons amid concerns that many inmates were dying.
According to a statement Édouard visited the facilities to inquire about the situation in which prisoners live including the lack of toilets in cells, food shortages, unsuitable water, care, presence of rats and insects in the cells.
Edouard, led a delegation that also included by Himmler Rebu, Secretary of State for Public Security and Jean Gardy Muscadin, the Director of the Directorate of Prison Administration (DAP), has vowed o continue working on alternatives to incarceration and a better distribution of prisoners in the various prisons.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG) and head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honoré also reiterated her concerns over the deaths of 42 detainees since the start of the year.
Last year 53 people died in detention and the authorities have acknowledged that the 14 deaths in January were due to anaemia, severe anaemia, cardio respiratory arrest, respiratory distress, pulmonary tuberculosis, hypovolemic shock and gastroenteritis.

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