Inmates at Kabul's Pul-e-Charkhi Prison have raised alarms that unless measures are taken, there will be a severe outbreak of the coronavirus within Pul-e-Charkhi prison, and they say there is “limited access” to health care services if a prisoner contracts the viral disease.
So far, 47 prisoners in Pul-e-Charkhi prison have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Prisoners have sent videos from the eighth and 10th block of the prison and say that there is a "high possibility" that they will be infected with the coronavirus given the situation inside the detention centers.
“I am coughing, I have fever and breathing problems. I cannot eat food and it looks like I am infected with the coronavirus,” in a prisoner-sent video.
“No one is paying attention to Pul-e-Charkhi prison and the situation is worsening. There might be a crisis and many bodies will be taken out of here if no one is paying attention,” said another prisoner.
According to the prisoners, the presidential decree for the release of 12,000 prisoners has been issued but “it is not implemented.”
“We have seen up to 700 prisoners who have a fever, pain in their bodies, coughing and flu,” said a prisoner.
Prison officials said that so far more than 6,000 prisoners have been released as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We continue our efforts to ensure transparency in the process and, meanwhile, we are trying to expedite the process so that we prevent human casualties in detention centers,” said Khalil Rahman Mutawakil, deputy head of the prisons’ affairs office.
But a spokesman for the prisons' affairs office, Farhad Bayani, clarified that those who are accused of security-related crimes, violence against women, murder (unless acquitted by victim’s family) and those who are barred from traveling, are not eligible to be among the presidential-decreed release of thousands of prisoners to prevent the spread of COVID-19.