Not only are the jail sentences long in the Congo, but also the conditions in the prisons are bad. These photos take a peek into one of them.
The walls were thick and high and the door solid steel, but once inside the only “security” between a visitor and the prisoners is that thin black string shown in the next photo.
I went into the prison with my UN Rule of Law colleague. He wanted to check the legality of the detention of the prisoners. There didn’t seem to be a prison authority to speak to, so he had to speak directly to the prisoners. In fact, there were just two small police officers as guards. Thus, after awhile, the prisoners started getting somewhat hostile, so we left.
We also paid a visit to one of the local prosecutors who put some of those guys in prison.
This photo shows him and his workload.
This is his word processing unit.
And his filing system.