Of the inmates interviewed, 27% had been ill-treated by prison officers or by inmates, with the consent of guards, and 44% said they had witnessed mistreatment.
The document published on Wednesday, based on visits to 12 detention centers by UN staff at the beginning of 2021, notes that in some instances up to 60 people were crammed into spaces measuring just 20 square meters, leaving them unable to, even lie down on the floor to sleep.
The report explains that the excessive use of pre-trial detention, coupled with the judicial system’s limited capacity to try criminal cases promptly, has led to a bottleneck in bringing people before a judge, and has led to overcrowding inside detention facilities. Currently, 82% of people deprived of their liberty in Haiti have not yet been tried.
Lack of ventilation, high degree of overcrowding, limited access to water, sanitation and medical assistance, are among the biggest concerns highlighted by the UN investigation, amid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Plus, the document indicates that in recent weeks over 500 detainees in the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince have had fevers, diarrhea and other Covid-19 symptoms.
pgh/Pll/jf / ane