Cyprus Mail

Trouble at the prisons again

By Peter Stevenson

AFTER months of relative calm, trouble is brewing again at the central prisons after a convict reported that he was raped by another inmate and drugs were found in a common-use fridge.

The 41-year-old, serving a life sentence for the murder of a relative, claimed that while he was in his cell on Wednesday, a 45-year-old inmate entered the cell and then raped him. The 45-year-old is currently serving time for raping a minor.

The lifer was taken to hospital where he underwent tests to prove if his claims are true.

Giorgos Tryfonides, Acting director at the central prisons told the Cyprus Mail that investigations were ongoing but that the 41-year-old had recently been evaluated by a psychiatrist.

“The report said that the 41-year-old needs to be put into psychiatric care and we are currently in the process of moving him out of the wing he is in,” he said.

In a separate case, 54 grammes of DMT, also know as the dream drug, was found last week in a common-use fridge. The fridge was taken as evidence by authorities.

According to reports in daily Politis, following the incident two inmates were transferred to another wing as they are believed to have ‘ratted-out’ the drug owners.

There have been a number of other reported incidents of scuffles at the prisons recently but according to Tryfonides there is nothing particularly strange about any such incidents.

“Things like that happen all the time at prisons, if you were to report on every incident of a fight breaking out then you would not get any other work done,” he said.

In August a 26-year-old convict was found hanged in his cell and on July 18 a 42-year-old man who was in prison awaiting trial on charges of arson, fixed for September, also committed suicide in his cell.

The 26-year-old had been jailed for 12 years for killing his sister by hitting her over the head more than 50 times with a laptop in the family’s Nicosia home in January 2012.

He was found guilty of manslaughter. He had killed his sister following an argument at their home in Latsia. Some three hours after the killing he called police and gave himself up.

The family – a quadriplegic mother, the victim, who had a congenital condition limiting mobility to her lower limbs, and the killer son – were all under psychiatric observation and were receiving help from social services.

In September, Health Minister Petros Petrides and Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said they were putting together a plan so that inmates could receive 24-hour healthcare following the two incidents.

The decision to implement 24-hour healthcare for prisoners is part of Cyprus’ requirements towards the EU following an agreement in 2008 with the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee.

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