Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) said in a report conditions in Afghanistan’s major prisons are extremely bad, and that prisoners are kept in inhumane conditions due to poor management, corruption and embezzlement.
IWA has assessed conditions at Pul-e-Charkhi, Baghlan and Wardak prisons and drawn up the report in three phases - from 2015 to 2017.
Integrity Watch Afghanistan executive director Sayed Ikram Afzali said in addition to the managerial problems, the conditions prisoners are being subjected to are very worrying.
“Due to the existence of corruption in different sections, the poor conditions of prisoners is continuing. The problems that we identified have not been resolved,” said Afzali.
According to the report, overcrowding in prisons, the lack of reform and a lack of education programs are other challenges that exist in the major prisons. The report said female prisoners also face numerous challenges.
“The cases of female prisoners do not get addressed on time and the worrying thing is that their children are living with them in such bad conditions,” said Lailuma Nasiri, head of Afghanistan Justice Organization.
“The issues of health and health care and other important issues are not addressed in the prisons,” said Mujiburrahman Rahimi, a member of Afghanistan’s Lawyers Union.
Afghan interior ministry meanwhile said in reaction to the report the only problem in Afghanistan’s prisons was the lack of space, which has resulted in overcrowding. The ministry meanwhile said they are working on ways to improve the situation and to improve conditions for prisoners.
“The only problem that remains in the prisons is the lack of space which is something that has been resolved in a number of provinces,” the interior ministry’s spokesman Najib Danish said.
The report has recommended that the Afghan government and the international community help improve prison buildings, prevent the increase of prisoners and address the problems prisoners face.
According to the report, having a defined monitoring mechanism in place is needed in order to implement suggested changes.