Amnesty International Ghana has bemoaned the high rate of overcrowding and poor conditions in Ghanaian prisons.
Ghanaian prisons are under-resourced; there are poor medical and sanitary facilities and not enough beds or bedding.
As cells are extremely overcrowded, people sleep on the bare floor and some inmates are forced to take turns to sleep.
The Director of Amnesty International Ghana Mr. Frank Kwaku Doyi, who made this known at a press briefing in Accra, noted that in order to address the problem associated with prison overcrowding, there is the need for government to introduce a genuine policy on the use of non-custodial penalties, in accordance with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules).
Adding that, government should expedite its efforts to establish a national mechanism for the prevention of torture, as well as an effective mechanism for receiving and processing complaints lodged by detainees.
More so, the government needs to take all the necessary steps to ensure that all prisoners awaiting trial are able to effectively exercise their right to promptly challenge the lawfulness of their detention before a court, apply for release pending trial and receive a prompt and fair trial.
Mr. Frank Kwaku Doyi, also noted that there is to respect and fully implement the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
“Given the recent ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, Ghana should expedite its efforts to establish a national mechanism for the prevention of torture, as well as an effective mechanism for receiving and processing complaints lodged by detainees,” he added.
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