Prisoner claims brutal, inhumane treatment

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Tafa’igata Prison.

Tafa’igata Prison. (Photo: Samoa Observer / File)

Alleged brutality and inhumane treatment inside the Prisons are some of the reasons prisoners escape from Tafa’igata. 

This is according to a letter penned by a prisoner and passed on to the Samoa Observer. Fearing for his safety, the Prisoner has asked to withhold his name.

But he pleas for his voice to be heard, saying they are desperate for help.

 “I was in custody in January and I was told that I would appear in Court on 26 February 2018, and after four days in jail, I was ill,” the letter reads. 

The inmate suffered from a toothache.

“I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and I requested the Tafa’igata office that I needed help and wanted to go to the hospital. 

“But they said they had to call the C.I.D. in Apia Police station. 

“After four days, I’m still asking them for help.”

 According to the Prisoner, instead of taking him to see a doctor, "they handcuffed me and took me to the jail block (pasima).”  

According to the letter, after two days, another inmate from the pasima got sick.

They started calling out for help. About an hour later they came and took the inmate to the back of the pasima and did something to him. 

“When he came back, his face was bloody and had a crack on his head.” 

According to the inmate’s letter, the next day he was placed with convicted murderers and he was scared for his life.  

“The whole time I was inside with those prisoners I did not sleep at all. 

“I slept on the concrete with no clothes and they took my clothes and I was cold at night. 

“So my question is do we get sent to prison to be treated like this and is it right for the prison guards to beat up the prisoners? 

“I was told this is why inmates break out of jail, just to get away from all this abuse.” 

Last month in the space of 30 days, seven prisoners had broken out of jail. 

While six are back in custody, one remains at large (see story page 4). 

The first four broke out in December, 2017, from Tafa’igata Prison. 

They included convicted rapist Lauititi Tualima, Vaioa Solia, Aniseko Vaelei and Uili Manuleleua. 

The Samoa Observer reached out to S.P.C.S. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ulugia Niuia Aumua, for a comment.

He has not responded to emails and text messages.

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