Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri won’t call a public inquiry into the conditions at the Corradino Correctional Facility after a 25-year-old prisoner suddenly died on Thursday.
“Kindly note that by law, the Correctional Services Agency must open a magisterial inquiry whenever a death occurs on prison grounds,” a spokesperson for Camilleri told Lovin Malta.
“The Ministry for Home Affairs has faith in the independent entities which are tasked with monitoring conditions in prison.”
“While every death is a cause for sorrow, it must be stated that the outright majority of deaths occurring in prison are a result of natural causes.”
A spokesperson for the Correctional Services Agency also played down concerns about prison conditions, referring to the recent “severe” reduction of drug use, the engagement of more care professionals and more prisoners being in employment.
Ihtisham Ihtisham, a 25-year-old Pakistani national, died in his prison cell on Thursday and a magisterial inquiry is underway.
However, his family have asked how Ihtisham, who they said was in good health, died suddenly in his sleep with no other explanation given.
He was set to be released on Christmas Day after serving six months in prison for being in possession of a forged document and his family were excited to spend the holidays with him in Pakistan.
“At this stage the family are under shock and would like to express their utmost disappointment at the correctional facility for depriving them of their basic right to be informed about the medical state of their family member,” Ihtisham’s lawyer Jacques Grima said.
“It is unacceptable that in a country which upholds the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights, we allow a human life to be lost with such blatant disregard to the person’s life.”
What do you make of the sudden death of a 25-year-old prisoner?