Thousands of people continue to languish in Malagasy prisons without having been found guilty of any crime due to the excessive use of pre-trial detention, Amnesty International said on Africa Pretrial Detention Day.
Six months after an Amnesty report exposed the alarming use of pre-trial detention in the island nation, the situation has worsened, and earlier this month a student was found dead after spending a night in police custody.
“The excessive use of pre-trial detention in Madagascar is unjust and abusive, and it has now reached crisis levels with up to 14,000 people held,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“Pre-trial detention is mostly used against poor people who cannot afford lawyers to get them out of prison. The Malagasy authorities cannot continue keeping thousands of people who have not been found guilty of any crime in jail.”