He was due to be released in April after serving his sentence for minor convictions of theft and violence. He finally died in excruciating suffering four months before. A white march between Saint-Etienne and the prison of La Talaudière (Loire) was organized Wednesday in memory of a young inmate, killed at the end of December by his cellmate, noted an AFP correspondent. "Thank you for this march in respect, dignity and kindness," said the mother of the victim at the end of the course that brought together about sixty people.
The young man, aged 25 at the time of his death, had been assaulted on the night of December 28 to 29 in his cell at the semi-liberty center of La Talaudière prison and had breathed his last in the hospital shortly after, according to a judicial source. His fellow prisoner was indicted the next day for murder and then taken back into custody.
The white march for Mehdi, killed by his fellow inmate of the Talaudiere prison, has begun. pic.twitter.com/vY0dCXyFGQ
— TL7 (@tl7loire) June 7, 2023
"Mehdi, we do not forget you", "Justice for Mehdi", "Prison kills brutally or slowly", read some placards brandished during the march. Some carried white and blue balloons, released at the end of the course under police escort. The victim's mother filed a complaint "for deliberate endangerment of the lives of others," his lawyer David Metaxas told AFP.
Already a murder in this prison in May 2022
According to him, Mehdi's fellow prisoner, who "suffers from psychological problems, had announced his intention to kill someone and Mehdi had expressed his fears to the guards". In the complaint that AFP was able to consult, the mother of the victim points to "other dysfunctions constituting a non-assistance to person in danger": the intervention of the guards would have taken place "forty minutes after the beginning of the aggression" and the police would have been alerted "only several hours later".
In May 2022, La Talaudière had already been marked by an escape and the murder of one of its residents, a 59-year-old Croat, killed by one of his three fellow prisoners.
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The management of the prison was pointed out in May by the Council of State, which ordered additional measures to improve the health, safety and "dignity of people" in the establishment opened in 1968 - cleaning of showers, partitioning of toilets...
Two associations, the International Observatory of Prisons (OIP) and the Association of Lawyers for the Defence of the Rights of Detainees (A3D) are at the origin of the procedure, with a referral to the Administrative Court of Lyon on the conditions of detention. Designed for 263 inmates, La Talaudière prison had an occupancy rate of 146% in April.