Togo resumes prison visits after Covid-19

3 weeks ago 345

Visits to prisons have resumed in Togo after a suspension that lasted for two years due to Covid-19.

Since 13 April 2020 that prisoners in this small West African country have been denied visiting rights.

The authorities justified the measures put in place "protect them against the risk of contamination (of the coronavirus) coming from outside".

Last Tuesday Justice Minister Pius Kokouvi Agbétomey lifted the suspension imposed as a reaction to the pandemic.

Visits will be authorised "under the conditions of the presentation of a vaccination pass or an authentic PCR test dating back less than 72 hours and the compulsory wearing of a protective mask", stressed the Justice Minister.

The civil prison in Lomé holds about 1,800 prisoners for a capacity of 666.

For the moment, visits are only allowed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The ban on prisoner visits was unpopular with many Togolese because it was seen as disproportionate to the health situation.

In recent months, opposition political parties and civil society organisations have repeatedly called for the resumption of prisoner visits.

Togo, which detected its first case of Covid-19 in early March 2020, has recorded a total of 36,973 cases, including 273 deaths, according to official figures published on Thursday evening.

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