Bor — The South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) has concluded that the conditions in which inmates are currently housed in Bor prison on Jonglei state are unacceptable.
On 28 November SSRC conducted an assessment of Bor Central Prison, at the request of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
"When we went into the female side we found out many of them lacked blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, washing soap, and some of them have children in the cell," the Director of Red Cross, David Gai Deer told Sudan Tribune.
He noted the importance of the nets in light of Bor's mosquito problem, and their capacity to transmit malaria.
"It is our constitutional mandate to assist the vulnerable people in prison," he added.
He said his office intends to support around 240 inmates in the prison with blankets, mats and nets and other supplies, with plans to extend the programme out to prisons elsewhere in the state.
Requesting anonymity, a Bor prison inmate told Sudan Tribune he had been held there since 2006 and that conditions are improving. "We used to be forced to lie down in rows, naked and with either water or spirit smeared on the buttocks and beaten terribly early in the morning and soon after sun set at evening; that was between 2006 and 2008." He claimed that although the conditions are still not hospitable, the beatings have stopped.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the South Sudanese prison system in June describing arbitrary arrests and "dire" conditions.
Minister of interior, Alison Manani Magaya, denied the allegations, describing the report as "not objective" and claiming that HRW "deliberately ignored" the "substantial improvements" made in various prisons.