Fear is the order of the day for inmates at Francistown State Prison as jail guards are said to have become autonomous law enforcers instilling fear and brutalizing and torturing inmates.
Sunday Standard investigations reveal that there are many cases of assault by jail warders at the institution which always go unreported for fear of being further victimized by the officers.
Thapelo Simon, an inmate in custody who is facing two counts of rape, could not hold back his tears when he revealed his ordeal to the Sunday Standard.
“On the 11th of December last year I was beaten to a pulp with a baton until three of my fingers were broken after I complained about the food ration during lunch,” he said.
Simon went on to state that after he complained about the food, the officers demanded that he should not be given food, rather they called him to their office where they locked and beat him up until he lost consciousness. He went on to highlight that he then reported his case to the police and was later referred to the hospital where he was later given medication.
“When I returned from the Hospital, the jail guards confiscated my medication as a way of revenging on me and now I am suffering because I cannot access my medication,” he said.
He added that there are many inmates who always survive near death experiences due to torture and brutality by the jail guards, especially those who do not have relatives in Botswana, such as foreign nationals from Zimbabwe and other countries.
Simon added that the most touching situations are when such inmates are denied access to medical attention.
“There was a point when I was remanded in solitary confinement for two days without the authorization of the Prison Commissioner as per the procedure of Prison,” said Simon.
The Senior Superintendent at Francistown State Prison, Otlametse Motshebe, said he was not aware of such incidents and added that he would look into the issue and investigations on the matter conducted.