Women prisoners in Pakistan suffer in cubbyhole

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Representative image
Representative image

Peshawar [Pakistan], September 12 (ANI): Women prisoners in Pakistan's Peshawar have been without a separate prison ever since the demolition of a British-era building, according to local media.

Citing sources, The Express Tribune reported there was a separate section for the women inmates in which there was a hospital and all other facilities including kitchen and barracks were available. It was very spacious and women from the entire province were shifted to Peshawar once convicted by the courts.

"In 2007 it was decided to demolish the old building and rebuild a multi-story building in order to increase the capacity of the prison. After which the old building was demolished which was the product of very mature planning. The women's section was also demolished and now all the women have been put inside one barrack which is not very spacious," sources said, adding that there were 58 female prisoners in the Peshawar Prison of which 25 were convicted and the rest were under trial prisoners.

"Some of these women have infants and toddlers with them. All of them have been put inside a barrack as the separate women section inside the prison is gone forever," it said the official, adding that women inside the prison are living like animals because in the planning no one paid attention to the female prisoner at all, The Express Tribune.

"The old building was built on modern lines taking into account all the needs of inmates. They were provided ample private space. The roofs were high so they provided a cold environment during the summer heat of Peshawar and there was a separate hospital for women and men kept in the jail," he said, adding that in the new building attention was only paid to accommodating as many inmates as possible.

"No one thought of the comfort of the prisoners and women were forgotten altogether in the planning," he blamed, adding that because of this the new building was not as strong as the old one nor any attention was paid to the weather factor so in the summer it becomes hot like a furnace, The Express Tribune.

"Every individual needs his personal space and privacy as well as the company of other humans at the same time. He needs to freely move around to keep himself healthy but imagine 58 women with children have been kept in one barrack-like animals. This is the new Central Prison Peshawar," sources said.

It is worth mentioning to note that the Advisor to CM on Prison Shafiullah had recently issued statements that a separate jail will be established for women prisoners in the province.

"This is just a statement. There is no provision for it in the ADP. There is no site selection. No discussions on where it should be constructed. Nothing like that so the project will take at least a decade to materialize until then the women inmates have to suffer," he added, reported The Express Tribune further. (ANI)

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