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NEWS

Short Update: New guidance issued on public health protections in prisons in India and globally

FairTrialsAdmin - April 2, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions

On 25th March, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) issued guidance to all state prison departments, judiciary, legal services institutions and other stakeholders on how to undertake effective measures to ensure protection of all prisoners, prison administrators and staff, prison visitors and all persons associated with prisons. 

The guidance builds on the statement of the Supreme Court of India on 16th March that:  

“[T]he bitter truth is that our prisons are overcrowded, making it difficult for prisoners to maintain social distancing….like any other viral diseases susceptibility of COVID-19 is greater in over-crowded places, mass gatherings, etc. Studies indicate that contagious viruses like COVID-19 proliferate in closed spaces such as prisons. Studies also suggest that prison inmates are highly prone to contagious viruses … Therefore there is a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus to the prison inmates…...we are of the opinion that there is an imminent need to take steps on an urgent basis to prevent contagion of COVID-19 virus in our prisons.” 

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