‘We don’t have a choice!’ Prisoners demand conjugal rights to end homosexuality

It is a nightmare for anyone, anywhere, to find themselves in a police car on their way to prison.

But many think that in jail there is protection around the clock, not knowing that prison may be more dangerous than the life they left behind.

One man told the BBC he was raped within hours of the gates closing behind him at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, where he was jailed for five years for robbery.

This however is entirely linked to denial of conjugal rights by the inmates.

Inmates from the largest correctional facility at the coast, Shimo la Tewa Maximum Prison in Mombasa, are up in arms demanding for conjugal rights.

The senate committee members led by the Chairman Samson Cherargei are visiting correctional facilities across the country to assess the prisons.

“You are also human like us, visitation is a right and you should exercise conjugal rights, even Former Vice President Moody Awori attested to it, who are we to deny it.

It is something that is everywhere, people should be allowed to exercise their conjugal rights even the Bible and the Quran says we should give birth to fill the earth so prisoners’ rights must be respected,” Senator Cherargei said.

The prisoners also want to be given time to go and bury their kin whenever death strikes.

They asked the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights to see that convicted prisoners are escorted to mourn with loved ones.

Mr Cherargei agreed that a balanced diet was key for everyone and said that they administration should request some money for fruits for the prisoners once in a while.

“The diet issue and visitation is a right the administration can manage,” he said.

He commended the convicts for the boldness in expressing themselves without fear of victimization.

The senators heard that the convicted prisoners need the government to take care of their families as they serve their sentences.

The Committee chairman noted that conjugal right is biblical and they deserve it.

While representing the recommendations to the Committee, Convicted Prisoners’ Welfare Representative Mr Jimmy Obwollah asked for prisoners to have representations in all Assemblies to ensure that their issues can be well addressed including the right to vote, calling for the amendment of the Election Act.

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