Prisoners are waiting. Most of them will never be judged because their files are missing. Many will die.
Seyi Rhodes is a journalist. He comments some pictures he has shot.

© Seyi Rhodes
Prisoners trying to get fresh air – © Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
No more space – © Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
Overcrowded cells
"These people would be locked in the same cell for the vast majority of their day. It is really hard to say exactly how this works but I’m pretty sure that they must be locked in their cell for 10 to 11 hours a day. They have one or two hours outside of the cell." – © Seyi Rhodes
Inside a crowded prison cell. – © Seyi Rhodes
A man pleads for help
A man pleads for help. "You can imagine it is kind of chaotic and we had some access issues. We were not always able to engage with people. You know, all the guys who were there were looking at the camera and were pretty much shouting at the same time, trying to tell you something about their conditions or about their case." – © Seyi Rhodes
A crowded prison cell
“There were two sections of the prison that we went into. There is the main section and then, there is the hospital section. In the main section, there were four or five different blocks, different kind of areas in which there was accommodation for the prisoners. Some were obviously worse than others. This picture is quite typical of the conditions that you experience there. You can see in the background a triple layer: it is a triple bunk bed. The bottom bunk is pretty much on the floor and then there is a little one and one on the very top. It is hard to say how many men would have to share each bed but you know, it could be up to four or five. It really depends on the size of the bed for instance, probably more.” – © Seyi Rhodes
Prisoners in the infirmary
"The infirmary was near the entrance of the prison. You had to come through the main gates before going through the security section, which was kind of interesting. It did not involve any proper security. It was quite clear that anything could theoretically get through as long as the right person was doing it. Maybe up to 500 prisoners were in the infirmary. I think that there were three rooms that all link into each other, maximum 500 people. They were incredibly tightly-packed." – © Seyi Rhodes
Prisoners crowded into the infirmary
"Here you can see the guys who sleep underneath the beds and a couple who sleep on top. They were really tightly-packed and there is a small man underneath. They come for diseases, accidents, fights or whatever. They seem to be in the worst conditions because then they are not allowed out at all theoretically." – © Seyi Rhodes
Emaciated figures from the infirmary
Emaciated figures from the infirmary. "The TB unit and the infirmary are both close to the kitchen. I think things were a little bit more organised in that respect. Most of the really bad, really emaciated figures you see in the infirmary would be people who have become like that over time in the main prison. I don’t say they’re having three meals a day necessarily, but they definitely get food, while there are many people in the prison who don’t eat for various reasons." – © Seyi Rhodes
Prisoner sleeping under bed. – © Seyi Rhodes
Meal time
"Meal time. This is the beginning of their one and a half hour roughly of free time. During that time they have to wash themselves and they have to get something to eat. These guys have had their cells opened and they are all pouring out. You can see they have little bowls in their hands. They have plastic forks. They are trying to get their food while they can, they get that into a plastic thing. Then, hopefully, go and have a wash and take the food back to the cell with them, to make the best use of their time. A lot of the time they would have those plastic Tupperware they would have been given by family members on the outside. At one stage, they would have brought food and then they keep hold of it. People bring food from the outside; they may have contacts to arrange for food to be brought to them. So there is that for a start. At the lower levels, some guys were free for a couple of hours and in that time they would have to get some food. They need to make sure they are here when the pots comes out. These very large pots of slop come out and get placed in a central location. They have one period of free time during the day and this is when they can eat. It is one meal a day even though it is supposed to be three. Everybody eats the same food and the meals are always the same. I have never seen any variety. During the weeks I have been visiting, it was always the same slop. I don’t know what’s in it to be honest, some kind of maze powder. I did see vegetables being chopped, so they seem to be boiled before being disintegrated. It seemed to be sweet potatoes but I hadn't always seen it in the food so I don’t know where that went exactly. It is kind of obvious that not everybody could have it." – © Seyi Rhodes
Waiting behind bars
"There are guys barely wearing any clothes. It is just not comfortable to do so and in that close proximity to each other. Many people are wearing what they were wearing when they got arrested so it is not really practical to hold on or to keep one outfit clean. A lot of time, people would walk around naked or half-naked, because, again, to wash their clothes, they would have to then dry them in the sun. During those two hours they would have to wait like that. I am quite vague on times and it really depends on the kind of prison you are in, who you are, your status inside the prison. There definitely seems to be people who are out most of the day and then there are other guys locked up for 22 hours a day and only having that one period of free time." – © Seyi Rhodes
Prisoners trying to communicate with each other. – © Seyi Rhodes
Prisoners playing cards. – © Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
© Seyi Rhodes
Prison cell number b5 – © Seyi Rhodes
Seyi Rhodes outside the tuberculosis unit. – © Seyi Rhodes

I think now it is much more common for people to know and to understand that the prisons are terrible in this country, that they are worse than terrible


Seyi Rhodes

Investigative journalist

Seyi is a British television presenter and investigative journalist who has worked for the BBC, Five Television, Current TV. From 2008, he has been the in-vision presenter and reporter for Channel 4’s Unreported World documentary series. He has given us the photos he took during the shooting of his documentary “Haiti: The Prison from Hell”. He agreed to comment on them for us.