The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says the Central Prison has more inmates than its capacity.
NHRC secretary Ved Prasad Bhattarai, in a press release on Monday, stated that a monitoring carried out by the constitutional commission found there were 3,164 inmates in the Prison as against its capacity of housing 1,250 individuals.
The press release states that because of the crowding problems related to drinking water, lack of toilets, sanitation and maintaining social distancing were found.
The NHRC has been monitoring the human rights situation of the inmates in jail and detainees in custody in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A team comprising the Commission’s members including Sudip Pathak conducted monitoring at some detention centres in Kathmandu and Lalitpur as well as the at the Central Prison.
NHRC secretary Bhattarai said the monitoring found that alertness has been adopted regarding sanitation including keeping soap and water for hand washing at the detention room, the medical check-up of the detainees and the case process. He stated that the NHRC also held discussions on these issues with the Director General of the Department of Prisons and the Chief Jailor at the Central Prison.
Although no coronavirus infection has been found among the inmates and detainees kept in the 72 prisons across the country so far, every precaution should be taken in time for most of these prisons were overcrowded and in a dilapidated condition and as the situation could take a nasty turn in case coronavirus infection entered in these facilities by chance.
Likewise, the NHRC said it has been receiving complaints through e-mail, phone and other communications means that some Nepalis working abroad were facing problems related to food and accommodation as they were not getting salary due to the COVID-19, that they were at risk of infection, and that the Nepali students who are in various countries including Bangladesh and Qatar in course of higher studies or training were also facing hardships and were stranded due to shortage of money.
The NHRC said it has discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Population and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security on these issues and also drew attention to the need of addressing the present complicated situation in a human rights-friendly manner.
Source: National News Agency Nepal