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Haiti : 'this is hell'. Inside Haitian jail where prisoners starve to death and defecate on floors of overcrowded cells

Dozens of emaciated men with sunken cheeks and protruding ribs lie silently in an infirmary at Haiti’s largest prison, most too weak to stand. The corpse of an inmate who died miserably of malnutrition is shrouded beneath a plastic tarp. Elsewhere, prisoners are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in cellblocks so overcrowded they have to sleep in makeshift hammocks suspended from the ceiling or squeeze four to a bunk. New arrivals at Haiti’s National Penitentiary jostle for space on filthy floors where inmates on lockdown 22 hours a day are forced to defecate into plastic bags in the absence of latrines. Overcrowding, malnutrition and infectious diseases that flourish in jammed quarters have led to an upsurge of inmate deaths, including 21 at the Port-au-Prince penitentiary just last month.

• Inmates at Haiti’s National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince are living in overcrowded and filthy conditions.
• Overcrowding, malnutrition and infectious diseases have led to an upsurge of inmate deaths.
• Haiti’s penal system is at a staggering 454% occupancy level, with 80 to 100 men crammed into cells.
• Authorities say they try their best to meet inmates’ needs, but receive insufficient funds from the state

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