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Tanzania Bans Condom Supply for Congested Prisons' Inmates

April 24, 2002

The Tanzanian government has refused to supply inmates with condoms to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in its congested prisons, local media reported Sunday. Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bakari Mwapachu explained over the weekend at the parliamentary session in Dodoma that the law bars people of the same sex from engaging in sexual intercourse. He was responding to a member of parliament who raised concerns over what he termed "increasing diseases," including HIV/AIDS, among prison inmates. Mwapachu said that before being locked in, convicts are classified according to age, nature of offense, sex and overall behavior. However, he admitted that Tanzania has failed to implement the UN Standard Rules for the treatment of prisoners. The rise in crime has resulted in overcrowding jails, and the government cannot mobilize enough money to build more prisons, he said. Tanzania has the capacity for 21,188 prisoners, but has 45,000 persons incarcerated.

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Excerpted from:
Xinhua News Agency

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