The mother of Colin Galea, the 30-year-old prisoner who died in hospital earlier this month after attempting suicide in prison has appealed to decision-makers not to allow more mothers to go through her same experience.
Galea died on the 17th August, eight days after his suicide attempt, and was laid to rest yesterday.
In a post uploaded this morning, journalist and prisoners’ rights activist Peppi Azzopardi revealed that Galea’s mother, Isabel, had gone straight to prison after the funeral to leave a placard on the prison’s gate.
“Have a conscience. Do not let more people die in here,” read the message.
In an interview with the Times of Malta, Isabel Galea recounted how she had believed that reporting her son to the police was a hopeful option for him at a time when he was struggling with drug addiction.
She said that she thought they would take care of him but instead they gave him back to her dead.
Galea’s death was the latest in a string of prison deaths and claims of inhumane and degrading treatment by the prison’s administration.
Prison director Alex Dalli has been accused of using “terrorism” to run the facility but despite this, he retains the support of the Home Affairs Ministry.
The prison’s administration has in this case denied that Galea had ever indicated that he was contemplating self half, but Azzopardi has revealed this not to be the case.
He said that this should have been clear to the prison from his first stay at the facility, also revealing that Galea had slit his wrists shortly after finding out that he had been sentenced to prison for a second time.
Azzopardi, who has been in contact with Galea’s family, said the young man was scared of returning to prison because he had firsthand experience of the “cruelty” within its four walls.
“He had tried to kill himself in prison two years ago and he was a suicide risk when he was readmitted. However, they couldn’t give a toss.”
If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone about mental health, please call 179. Alternatively, visit www.kellimni.com to get in touch online.
Rest in peace