The Community of Sant'Egidio, as part of its service to humanise prisons and provide direct assistance to prisoners, successfully contributed to the release of 19 prisoners in the province of Sofala, in the districts of Beira and Nhamatanda last September and October. Three people were released in Nhamatanda and 16 in Beira. Unfortunately, one of the prisoners, who was already in serious health at the time of release, died in hospital shortly afterwards.
The Community paid the court fees, which, according to Mozambican law, allow prisoners at the end of their sentences to be eligible for parole. One of the people released was a woman from the Buzi district, who risked a further three years' imprisonment because of her inability to pay court fees. The Community also covered the transport costs, and made sure that she could return to her district.
In the meantime, Sant'Egidio volunteers maintain their commitment with weekly visits to prisons to alleviate the difficult living conditions of prisoners. They often live in facilities that originated in colonial times and have never been expanded, and are often without access to sufficient water resources and on limited food rations. These visits are essential steps in restoring dignity to the prisoners, who constantly express new requests for help.
Learn more: VISITING PEOPLE IN JAIL