Prisons defends hard labour for HIV+ inmates
Publish Date: Aug 12, 2014
Prisons defends hard labour for HIV+ inmates
Commissioner of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija talking to inmates at Lira government prison. PHOTO/File
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By Pascal Kwesiga   

The commissioner for prisons in charge of inspection, Wycliffe Kururagire, has defended the practice of subjecting prisoners living with HIV/AIDS to ‘hard work’ saying ‘exercising’ is good for their health.

Kururagire was reacting to complaints from human rights activists that prisoners including those living with HIV/AIDS are subjected to ‘hard labour’ at a human rights dialogue in Kampala.

‘It is not hard labour, it is hard work and I think that is not bad for inmates who are HIV positive. They need to exercise to remain healthy,” he added.

The commissioner also dismissed claims that prisoners are served with only porridge while at work in the field.

A human rights activist said he found prisoners taking porridge at 3:00pm on a private farm in Mukono.

This, according to him, means that the prisoners had not had lunch.

“That is not true. They were eating porridge for the second time when you saw them. And by the way, when they are given food while they are still working, they do not eat it. They carry it to the prison where they usually want to eat from,” Kururagire said.

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