The Deputy Permanent Secretary at The Ministry of Interior, Louis Moses Mendy has denied the alleged hunger strike at the Mile 2 Central Prisons in Banjul.
There are disturbing reports of a hunger strike at the state central prisons after a handful of remand prisoners locked themselves up with six prison wardens demanding for speedy trials. Some of the prisoners are said to have spent a number of years waiting for trial while languishing in tough prison conditions.
“We are not aware of a hunger strike, denial of visits or food from family members,” Deputy PS Mendy said.
“I’m informed by the prisons authorities that the allegations are not true. There is no hunger strike, denial of visits or food from outside,” he added.
The Deputy PS Interior, however said he was aware of a certain incident that occurred at the state central prisons on Monday. He added that they had a meeting with some remand prisoners who spoke on behalf of the concerned prisoners.
“We have not yet officially compiled anything,” he said.
The Interior Deputy PS further told The Fatu Network that there is a motion at the Ministry of Justice to expedite the cases of the remand prisoners.
When asked about prisons reforms, he said that already a committee is reviewing the Prisons Act. He added that the building of a new prison requires resources but the government is making efforts.
However, families of the remand prisoners disagreed with the Deputy PS of Interior. They complained about the denial of visits and food for their loved ones.
“They are punishing the remand prisoners for the incident that occurred on Monday,” a family source told The Fatu Network.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the Opposition Leader of GDC, Mama Kandeh has made attempts to visit the prisons but was denied and asked to officially write to authorities.