Rwanda: Fear of further deaths in custody: thousands held in appalling conditions in Gitarama Prison
AI delegates based in Rwanda visited Gitarama Prison on 7 June 1995 and confirmed that conditions there are appalling. Up to four prisoners are reportedly to be dying per day in the prison which was built for 600 inmates but which now houses 6847, including 102 children and 218 women. In addition there are 20 babies, with their mothers. The AI delegates reported a total lack of bygiene and basic sanitary facilities. An extension is being built, which will be about twice the size of the current prison, but this will only partly relieve the overcrowding. Most of the prisoners have been arrested on vague charges of having taken part in the genocide. Only areound 2500 of the total number of prisoners have had arrest warrants issued. Although screening committees have been set up to examine dossiers on prisoners and release those against whom there is insufficient evidence, only two have been released so far.