While some prisons in Africa are actually quite nice with televisions, toilets, gym rooms, nice food etc, there are still numerous prisons in Africa that can rightfully be referred to as “hell on Earth”. Below are 8 of the worst prisons in Africa.
8. Gitarama Central Prison, Rwanda
Gitarama Central Prison is one of the worst prison in Africa. The prison has been described as hell on earth. The LA Times once said: “There is no space remaining in hell today. The doomed already fill it. They live, sleep, eat, rot and die squeezed together four men per square yard in the roofless brick box that is Gitarama Prison.”
The prison was designed to house 400 people, but in the wake of the Rwandan genocide, the inmate population rose to nearly 7,000 by the mid 1990s. prisoners have been described as “left for dead,” and they can wait for as long as 16 years without ever receiving a trial date. It’s even been claimed that some inmates resorted to eating one another’s flesh out of sheer desperation.
7. Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea
Notorious for human rights offenses, this prison has become synonymous with guard brutality, malnutrition, overcrowding, rat infestations, Overpopulation, no healthcare, little food.
It is common for prisoners to die from chronic disease.
Although Black Beach’s infamous old buildings were replaced five years ago and the facility now boasts a hospital wing and pharmacy, the prison still ranked as one of the worst prisons in Africa.
In 2008, a special reporter for the UN expressed concerns that torture was frequently used to secure convictions in Equatorial Guinea and that corporal punishment was used in prisons like Black Beach. Prisoners have reportedly died following prolonged beatings, and there are also indications that political prisoners have been held in solitary confinement for as long as four years.
6. Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kenya
Situated on a 1,200 acre lot, Kamiti Maximum prison has gained notoriety due to the unspeakable squalor that the prisoners are subjected to.
The prison, which holds a number of political prisoners, has earned a reputation for instances of sodomy, beating of inmates to death, and epidemics where malnutrition, cholera, and ulcers were normal occurrences.
5. Nairobi Prison, Kenya
Built in 1911 for 800 prisoners, which boomed to 3,000 in 2003, this prison is one of the most congested in Africa. The prison cells reek of sweat, human waste, and filth with the stench of garbage hanging in the air. Generally, living conditions in the prison has made it a struggle for the prisoners to be physically and mentally healthy.
4. The Mukobeko maximum prison, Zambia
Mukobeko maximum prison cell was originally built to accommodate one inmate per cell. However, now it holds up to 15 prisoners. With little ventilation, the prison often experience outbreaks of diseases such as tuberculosis etc.
The prison is also known for its guard brutality, malnutrition, rat infestations, Overpopulation, etc.
3. Kirikiri Maximum prison, Nigeria
The Kirikiri Maximum Secuity Prison, the most popular prison in Nigeria is infamous for its congestion. Besides the problem of overcrowding, as there could be up to 50 inmates in cells intended for fewer people, it is also infamous for its degrading treatment of prisoners , appalling living conditions, sub-standard medical care, and a very high death rate.
2. Kinshasha, penitentiary, Congo
Kinshasha Penitentiary is a prison in Congo with more than 850 prisoners packed like sardines into a facility built for 150. Inmates sleep in hallways, near septic tanks etc disease outbreaks is a daily occurence in the prison.
In 2009, The prison was named the worst in Africa, by a top United Nations human rights official.
1. Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Zimbabwe
Chukurubi max prison is the largest correctional facility in Zimbabwe and one of the worst prison in Africa. Located on the outskirts of the country’s capital. It houses about 17 000 prisoners (both men and women), the Cells typically measure 9 metres (30 ft) by 4 metres (13 ft), .. and there can be as many as 40 prisoners housed in each cell.
Chikurubi maximum prison Just like the other prisons on this list, is known for its overcrowding, guard brutality, malnutrition, overcrowding, no healthcare, and poor sanitary conditions. Prisoners here spend much of the day locked up and have few recreational opportunities.
Top 10 Countries in Africa With The Most Prisoners
Based on a report released by the World Prison Brief (WPB), a unique database that provides free access to information about prison systems throughout the world. These are the Top 10 Countries in Africa With The Most Prisoners.
1. South Africa, 147,984 prisoners
2. Egypt, 120,000 Prisoners
3. Ethiopia, 110,000 Prisoners
4. Morocco, 86,384 prisoners
5. Rwanda, 66,082 prisoners
6. Nigeria, 65,688 prisoners
7. Uganda, 65,000 prisoners
8. Algeria, 65,000 prisoners
9. Kenya, 42,596 prisoners
10. Tanzania, 35,803 prisoners
11. Madagascar, 27,600 prisoners
12. Angola, 26,000 prisoners
13. Tunisia, 22,964 prisoners
14. Zambia, 22,823 prisoners
15. Cameroon, 22,430 prisoners
16. Zimbabwe, 22,000 prisoners
17. Cote d’Ivoire, 21,430 prisoners
18. Sudan, 21 000 prisoners
19. Democratic Republic of Congo, 20,550 prisoners
20. Mozambique, 19,784 prisoners
Prisoners population of the countries above were derived using data from governmental and other official sources.