COVID-19: CHRI donates to two Prisons

Prison Donation

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office, with the financial support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), has supported two prisons with COVID-19 items in Accra and Kumasi.

The donations are meant to help the inmates and staff at the two detention facilities from contracting the COVID-19.

The gesture also coincided with International Human Rights Day.

Ms Mina Mensah, the Director of Africa Office of CHRI, presented items including antiseptic, detergents, boxes of washing powder, boxes of sanitary tissue, boxes of washing tablet soap, bags of nose masks, bottled drinking water and bags of sachet water to the Kumasi Central Prison.

She said the donation was to support the Ghana Prison Service in their service to Ghana and humanity as a whole.

She said the UN standard for the Prison Service could not be achieved by the State and Prison Service alone as in the era of COVID-19, there was the need for organisations to help one another in a manner that proves that as a nation “we respect the rights of individuals.”

Ms Mensah said the CHRI has been working on a project on decriminalizing petty offences for a while and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Initiative and its partner OSIWA had a COVID intervention programme to donate sanitary items to some Prisons and Police Stations.

An Assistant Director of Prisons (ADP) Alhaji Ousamane Tasembedo, who is the Deputy Commander of the Kumasi Central Prison, expressed gratitude to the management of CHRI and OSIWA in support of their work and as part of efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the prison, which was originally built to house 700 inmates now had 1,952 inmates, indicating severe overcrowding.

He said they supported CHRI’s initiative towards decriminalizing petty offences as it would contribute to decongest the Prisons in Ghana.

In Accra, CHRI also made similar donation to the James Camp Prison in Roman Ridge, Accra.

The items donated included sacks of assorted detergents, boxes of washing powder, packets of tissue, boxes of washing tablet soap, bags of nose masks, antiseptics and drinking water.

Ms Esther Ahulu, Programme Manager of CHRI Africa Office, presenting the items, said the donation was significant because aside being a support towards the COVID-19 fight, it also marks International Human Rights Day on the theme ‘Recover Better- Stand up for Human Rights’.

“As we know, with the advent of COVID-19, there is a need for cleanliness in the prisons and a safe environment and that is why we are donating all these items as part of a project that we are undertaking,” Ms Ahulu added.

Raphael Tuekpe, Assistant Director of Prisons (ADP) and the Officer-In-Charge of the James Camp Prison, was grateful to the team for the support.

He said the donation would assure the inmates that the society thinks about them and requested for more of such donations to support the work of the James Camp Prison.

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