South Cyprus prison overcrowded with Congolese irregular migrants

Prisons in southern Cyprus has become way too overcrowded especially after the recent jailing of a number of Congolese nationals both men and women who tried to leave Cyprus with forged or stolen travel documents.

According to a report by Greek Cypriot daily, Philenews on Thursday last week, cells which can only accommodate 424 inmates are now holding up to 763. Some have to sleep in areas used for entertainment purposes.

Head of the Nicosia-based prison, Christiana Aristotelous also told the House Legal Committee that – only on Wednesday – 17 new irregular migrants from Congo were sent there.

In September, 126 convicted and detained persons in the central prison were from the specific African country.

Some were trying to leave Cyprus on forged documents from Paphos Airport, while others had been arrested and sentenced from district courts.

The problem becomes even worse with the women’s wing since – apart from the fact that it is overcrowded, among the detainees are pregnant women.

Or mothers with young children who are now away from them – and this leads to a humanitarian problem as well.

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