22nd February 2020
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Torit prison congested with bail defaulters

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: 6 months ago

Inmates in Torit play tug-of-war with youth peace ambassadors at a UNMISS community outreach event in March 2019. PHOTO: UNMISS

Torit State Prison Service is urging those whose relatives have been granted bail by the court to avail the money needed to release their family members.

According to Major General Tombe Joseph, the prison cells are getting overcrowded with people whose cases have been cleared for bail.

He said most of the inmates have been convicted and told to pay compensations in the form of cow or money.

He told Eye Radio in an exclusive interview in Torit that there are about 236 prisoners behind bars at the state prison, and about 90 per cent of them have posted for bail. He said that some are in for committing petty crimes.

“Let them come and visit and find out from the prisoners themselves and the administration how to deal with this issue of compensation because these prisoners cannot come out unless the relatives think of how to resolve this issue,” said Maj. Gen. Tombe.

He added that the government is unable to release those charged without bail money.

Most detainees in South Sudan rely on their families for essentials like food, soap and clothes, including efforts to set them free.

But the five years of conflict and the current economic hardship has made it impossible for most families to come to the aid of their loved ones behind bars.

The ICRC says “this means that many families are no longer able to support their relatives in prison and detainees lose the vital lifeline and become more isolated than ever.”

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