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El Salvador: First prisoners transferred to new “mega prison”.


Space for more than 40,000 people: In its controversial fight against gang crime, El Salvador's government had a gigantic prison built. Now the first prisoners have moved in.

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Government of El Salvador HANDOUT/EPA

El Salvador's government has begun moving thousands of suspected gang members to a newly opened "mega-prison."

This is the latest step in their controversial crackdown on crime.

"This will be their new home, where they can no longer harm the population," President Nayib Bukele wrote on Twitter.

Around 2,000 accused gang members were transferred to the 40,000-person prison early Friday morning (local time).

In a video posted by Bukele, inmates can be seen walking through the new prison to their cells, dressed only in white shorts and with their heads shaved.

Many have gang tattoos.

Bukele asked his allies in the Salvadoran Congress last year to pass a state of emergency that would override some constitutional rights.

Arrests can therefore be made without a warrant.

In addition, the government has access to private communications and detainees no longer have the right to a lawyer.

criticism from human rights organizations

The action was justified with the sharp increase in crime in the country, which is attributed to violent gangs.

The state of emergency has been extended several times and more than 64,000 suspects have now been arrested.

Human rights organizations argue that innocent people have been caught up in these policies, including at least a dozen who are believed to have died in police custody so far.

But Bukele's anti-gang policy remains popular with Salvadorans, and the country's security minister told Reuters that it will continue until all the criminals are caught.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-25

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