Dutch minister impressed by prison conditions

NYANZA - The visiting Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Dr. Ernest Hirsch Ballin, has said Rwanda’s treatment of prisoners was exemplary to many other nations.
The visiting Dutch minister(R) and the head of Prisons, Mary Gohonzire, admire an art piece made by inmates (Photo; F. Ntawukuriryayo)
The visiting Dutch minister(R) and the head of Prisons, Mary Gohonzire, admire an art piece made by inmates (Photo; F. Ntawukuriryayo)

NYANZA - The visiting Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Dr. Ernest Hirsch Ballin, has said Rwanda’s treatment of prisoners was exemplary to many other nations.

The minister made the remarks last Sunday after visiting Mpanga Prison located in Nyanza District, Southern Province.

The Dutch Government funded the construction of the Prison which shelters over 6,000 Genocide convicts and eight others from Sierra Leone who were convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) for war crimes.

“It is an extremely difficult task to have a prison for so many people. You have to create a good living condition for prisoners and at the same time enable them to learn skills that would help them once they have completed their terms,” he noted.

Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said that Ballin’s visit to the prison would help improve the country’s judicial image internationally.

“Some countries are still undermining the Rwandan justice system, while others are hesitant to hand over Genocide perpetrators.  I hope that Dr. Ernest Hirsch Ballin will help in telling the truth to world,” said Karugarama.

On his way to Nyanza, the Dutch minister also inspected a new building of the Institute of Legal Practice Development, which is also funded by the Netherlands Government.

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