Liberia: Major Prison Facilities Shutdown Due to Lack of Food Supply

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MONROVIA – A FrontPageAfrica investigation has uncovered that Inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison, commonly referred as “South-Beach” and other major prison facilities are reportedly faced with famine at the facility, a situation which they said is now unbearable and might lead to jail break at the facilities, if attention is not given quickly.

A source within the Monrovia Central who preferred not to be named has confirmed that the facility went short of food since December 8, but authority had tried to manage the little which already finished few days ago.

However, the situation reportedly got worsened on, Sunday, January 2, as inmates were unable to get meal, to Tuesday, January 3.

As a result, the inmates had since rely only on food brought into the facilities by family members. Many who don’t have relatives visiting depend on their colleagues or go to bed on empty stomach.

“Today, there is completely no food at the facility. Up to now, it is 2pm, there is no food,” a source within one of the facilities said on Tuesday, January 3, via a cell phone.

The source further said the situation is creating serious dissatisfaction among inmates, who earlier planned to go on the rampage, but were later told by their heads within the various prison blocks to calm down, until the end of the day.   

However, the inmates have threatened that if nothing is done to provide them food until the end of the day, they will take unspecified actions at the facility, beginning Tuesday,  January 3.

Our source further complained that inmates are told to purchase their own medicines whenever they go at the clinic within the facility for treatment, eventhough, they lack means of getting money.

“We are concern about food, because that is the only thing they help us with, we do other things by ourselves,” our source noted.

“We are going out of patience, because there is no food and due to that reason, they kept us behind bars, up till 11am on Monday, January 3.

The inmates have also alarmed over why President Weah has not visited them for the past two years during December, to give an Executive Clemency for some of them.

“Your will hear our news outside there, because, we as convict, will not accept any free talk from them again,” our source noted.

Currently, the Monrovia Central Prison has over 1,300 inmates, when it was constructed for only 350 prisoners.

When contacted, the Deputy Superintendent at the Monrovia Central Prison Justine J. Juwah confirmed lack of food at the facility, but said he could not speak further on the issue on grounds that he was not the rightful authority.

The Assistant Minister for Corrections, Mr. Eddie Trawaly could not be reached for comments as FPA was informed that he is currently out of the country.

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