Lusaka, August 27th, 2014, ZANIS — AGE Justice International is calling for therapeutic screening of prohibited immigrates before incarcerating them in Zambian Prison.
AGE Justice International Executive Director Phillimon Phiri says his organisation has taken a key interest in the promotion and protections of human rights in prisons in regards to health, accommodation, access to information, water and sanitation; and family contacts among Zambian prisoners.
Mr. Phiri says his organisation was concerned over the spreading of ebola virus in Western and Central African countries.
So far from data collected there are many cases of the Ebola that have been recorded and 1,350 propel have died in several West African countries including Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.
ZANIS reports that the Age Justice International Executive Director said this in a statement released in Lusaka, this evening.
He says as 2014 was a special year when Zambia is celebrating her Golden Jubilee with viable reasons to decongest prisoners and pre-trial detainees who hold no dangers to the communities and have minimal risks of re-offending in order to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus into prison facilities around the country.
“ We ask the government through judicial actors to find a way to temporarily release the mentioned people from jail on bond, especially the named pre-trial detainees (people in jail and not yet sent to court) and convicted prisoners that would not pose any danger to themselves or the society as beneficiaries of the bond initiative, “ he said.
Mr. Phiri said there is a great need for the government to act now or else, if the Ebola virus were to enter.
He said with the congested cells and the country, we fear that many lives could be affected which includes officers that deal with incarcerated inmates and their circumstantial children.
The presence of Ebola case in the country’s prison could result into freaking situation that may sometimes necessitate the closure of the prison lodges and the relocation of staff and inmates as well as confining the suspected cases.
He reasoned that in such situation family contact tracing may become absolutely difficult and very expensive; especially female inmates who are single mothers and have left children on their own.
The community and the state should not feel they should wait until the outbreak of the Ebola before they act. We all need to put measures in place to prevent the virus from entering the prisons and the country at large.