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Liberia: Rehabilitation project under way in eight prisons

25-03-1999 News Release 99/12

In early March the ICRC began restoring kitchen and sanitary facilities in eight Liberian prisons, three of them in Monrovia and five in rural areas. Sacks of cement, bricks, tools and water storage tanks had to be trucked from the capital to remote parts of the country, as no materials or equipment were available on the spot.

The project was launched following the ICRC's decision to extend its traditional programmes in aid of prisoners to cover common law detainees as well, since seven years of war have left the Liberian prison administration with hardly any technical and financial resources. The work is being done in close cooperation with volunteers of local branches of the Liberia National Red Cross Society and should take four to six weeks to complete.

At the same time, the ICRC is distributing food and other basic necessities to some 250 prisoners. Among these are 35 civilian and military security detainees falling within the organization's mandate and held in two prisons in the capital.