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Prisons crisis resolved – Gambia News Online

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By Tabora Bojang
The hostage crisis involving disgruntled prisoners at the remand wing of the state central prison has been ‘amicably resolved’ after the intervention of concerned authorities including justice, and Interior ministries as well as senior prison authorities.Reports said an unconfirmed number of inmates overpowered and held guards hostage before demanding to speak to either the Interior minister or the director of prisons.Our source said the inmates demanded among other things speedy trials of pending cases and granting them their rights as prisoners of the state.They raised concerns over congestion of the wing, poor quality food, and harassment of visitors.“A prisons inter-ministerial committee, which includes representatives of several government agencies was set up and empowered to look into the issue and investigate all complaints, including those concerning sub-standard conditions, medical care, slow rate of court cases and prison diets amongst others,” the source outlined.
According to him, the overcrowding was principally caused by the backlog of cases at the courts and resulting in the undue incarceration as the detainees await trial.“A meeting involving the solicitor general and legal secretary, the director of prisons, senior Interior officials and others was convened between the authorities and inmates at which a consensus was reached as to how best the matter should be addressed and it has been positively resolved to the contentment of the inmates,” our source added.The Standard visited the prisons but the public relations officer was unavailable for immediate comment on the matter.

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