Squalid conditions reported in Nicosia Central jail

The Central jail in North Nicosia has come up for harsh criticism, once again, for its squalid and cramped conditions, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ reports.

The jail which contains 400 inmates, lumps all ages and types of offenders together because of a shortage of space, and has been considered inadequate since 1983.

Seven of the inmates are under the age of 18 and have to share the same living quarters as the rest. Prison warden Metin Bilmem said that because of the lack of space, youths were being exposed to hardened criminals. He said that despite repeated reports, the authorities have taken no steps to build a new prison.

Although there have been improvements and refurbishments to the building, prisoners have been unable to use the facilities. There are fears for health and hygiene as washing facilities are inadequate. Prisoners use the toilets for laundering their clothes, which they then have to dry in their cells.

‘Havadis’ reports that as many as ten inmates share a living space of 8m sq.

The only positive aspect of the prison is that there is a programme in place which teaches inmates arts or handicrafts in the prison workshops.

Havadis, Cyprus Weekly

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