Juveniles Behind Bars in Sierra Leone

11 February 2010

Das Pademba Road Prison in Freetown, Sierra Leone beherbergt viele Jugendliche obwohl nach den Gesetzen von Sierra Leone Kinder unter 17 Jahren nicht mit Erwachsenen inhaftiert werden dürfen. Aufgrund mangelhafter Dokumentierung ist es aber nicht immer einfach, das Alter festzustellen. Einst für etwa 300 Gefangene gebaut, beherbergt das Gefängnis heute mehr als 1.100. Jugendliche warten dort oft jahrelang auf ihren Prozess, weil vor dessen Beginn ihr Alter festgestellt werden muss. Wasser gibt es kaum im Gefängnis. Es gibt kein fließendes Wasser und für einen Eimer Wasser muss bezahlt werden, manchmal sogar für Trinkwasser.

Freetown, Sierra Leone A group of youths aged around 16 or 17 – with some whose ages are unknown – in prison for terms of up to six years for offences ranging from sheep-stealing to theft of palm oil. None receives legal assistance or family visits. Pademba Road Prison, in Freetown, Sierra Leone was built to accommodate around 300 prisoners, but now holds more than 1,100, including many juveniles. According to Sierra Leonean law, children under 17 should not be imprisoned with adults, but poor documentation means that it is not always easy to prove age. Youths can remain in jail for years while awaiting trial, as in some cases age must be proven before a trial can commence. Every day, dozens of juveniles on remand are taken to court, but many return without a decision being made and have to return on numerous occasions before a judgment can be reached.

Photo credit:
Laif Photos & Reportagen / Panos Pictures

La cárcel de Pademba Road (Freetown, Sierra Leona) fue construida para alojar a unos 300 presos, pero alberga a más de 1.100, muchos aún adolescentes. Según la ley del país, los menores de 17 años no deben ser encarcelados con adultos, pero la escasa documentación impide demostrar la edad. Los adolescentes pueden permanecer encarcelados durante años a la espera del juicio, ya que en algunos casos es necesario demostrar la edad antes de poder comenzar el proceso. La escasez de agua es habitual en la cárcel. No hay agua corriente, los presos deben pagar por lavarse con cubos y a veces hasta por el agua potable.

La prison de Pademba Road, à Freetown, Sierra Leone, prévue pour 300 prisonniers, en détient plus de 1 100 dont beaucoup sont adolescents. La loi sierra-léonaise prévoit que les enfants de moins de 17 ans ne doivent pas être détenus avec des adultes mais, sans papiers, pas facile de prouver son âge. Des jeunes peuvent rester des années en prison en attendant d’être jugés, leur âge devant parfois être prouvé avant que puisse commencer la procédure. Le manque d’eau est fréquent en prison. Il n’y a pas d’eau courante et les prisonniers doivent payer le seau d’eau pour la toilette et parfois même l’eau potable.

La prigione di Pademba Road, Freetown. Sierra Leone, costruita per circa 300 detenuti, ne conta oltre 1.100, molti ancora minorenni. Per legge, i ragazzi sotto i 17 anni non possono essere incarcerati con gli adulti, ma data la scarsità dei documenti non è facile dimostrare l’età di qualcuno. I ragazzi possono rimanere in prigione per anni in attesa del processo, perché prima di avviare il procedimento è necessario comprovare l’età. La mancanza d’acqua è un problema comune nella prigione: non esiste acqua corrente e i detenuti devono pagare per potersi lavare con un secchio e a volte addirittura per bere.

De Pademba Road Prison in Freetown in Sierra Leone is gebouwd voor 300 gevangenen, maar huisvest er nu ruim 1.100. Volgens de wet in Sierra Leone mogen kinderen onder de 17 niet bij volwassen worden opgesloten, maar de gebrekkige persoonsregistratie maakt het vaak onmogelijk om hun leeftijd te bepalen. Jongeren zitten soms jaren in voorlopige hechtenis, omdat eerst hun leeftijd moet worden vastgesteld voor het proces kan beginnen. Water is schaars in de gevangenis. Er is geen waterleiding en gevangenen betalen voor een emmer water om zich te wassen en soms zelfs voor drinkwater.

Location

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Technical information

Shutter speed: 1/10 s
ISO: 640
F-Stop: f/4
Focal Length: 24 mm
Canon EOS 5D
Camera: Canon EOS 5D

Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM lens
Lens: Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM lens

Fernando Moleres
Nationality:
Spain
About:
Fernando Moleres was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1963. He began work as a nurse in his home village, traveling in 1987 to pursue that calling in Nicaragua, during the Sandinista period. It was there that Moleres began to appreciate the value of photography and to teach himself how to do it. During the early 1990s, he combined nursing work with long periods traveling and doing photo projects, such as Children at Work, which lasted several years and took him to many countries.

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