Mozambique Jail Escapees Captured And Returned To Prison

Authorities in Mozambique said that eight out of 15 inmates who escaped from prison in the central province of Zambezia eight months ago were caught.

The prison authorities said the operation was underway to apprehend the remaining inmates.

The Provincial Director of the National Prison Service in Zambezia, José dos Santos, said the eight were discovered inside the province.

After breaking through the window of a female prison cell, the prisoners are confirmed to have escaped from Ile district prison in May last year.

They had served numerous prison sentences for various crimes up until then.

The incident coincided with a visit to the province by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Filimão Suaze.

In Mozambique, which was once accused by the rights group Amnesty International of illegally imprisoning thousands, prison escapes are usual.

A partnership between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League, the 2012 report identified how individuals from disadvantaged social groups are especially at risk of being locked up in overcrowded cells for months, often years, without having committed a crime.

In 2016, it was reported that the Maputo Penitentiary (formerly known as the Central Prison of Maputo) housed more than three times the number of inmates it was built for. There is an installed capacity for the prison to house 800 prisoners.

The government will later introduce reforms, but some analysts notice that not much has changed.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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