Home Affairs shadow minister Beppe Fenech Adami on Tuesday described the prisons as a place where fear reigns and lives are being lost.

He was speaking after Qormi-born Nazzareno Mifsud, was found dead in his prison cell on Monday night in a suspected suicide.

Fenech Adami said this was the 10th person found dead in prison in a few months.

This death, he said, could have been avoided had there been effective systems and protocols protecting everyone’s lives, whatever their crime.

"Despite much boasting from the Labour government, rather than a place of reform, prison has become a place where fear reigns, and where lives are lost." 

But in spite of what the Labour government boasted, rather than a place of reform prison had ended up being a place where lives were lost.

Minister Byron Camilleri, who was responsible for the prisons, had to answer to this rather than hide behind inquiries and statements, Fenech Adami said.

He should assure the people that this situation of continuous deaths was to be addressed seriously once and for all.

If he was unable to give such an assurance, his only option was to resign, Fenech Adami insisted.

Ten deaths in two years

5 September 2020 - A 45-year-old was found dead in his prison cell. Authorities said he died of natural causes but there were questions raised about his age. 

24 February 2020 - A 72-year-old was found dead in his cell. The prisoner was John Attard, an accomplice in the stabbing of Gozitan traffic warden Fortunata Spiteri, 19 years ago.

30 November 2019 - Quadruple murderer Ben Ali Wahid Ben Hassine died in hospital, according to media reports. 

25 November 2019 - A 49-year-old was found unconscious on the floor of his cell, with no signs of 'external violence', authorities said.

27 October 2019 - A man was found unconscious in his cell and was brought to hospital, where he died.

13 March 2019 - A 39-year-old man died by suicide, using a blanket. He was awaiting trial for attempted murder and domestic violence. 

26 December 2018 - A man was found unconscious in his cell, hours after complaining that he was feeling unwell and asking for painkillers. 

11 December 2018 -  A 26-year-old inmate died, reportedly by suicide, as he began his sentence for rape.

7 June 2018 - A 35-year-old was found in his cell with no signs of 'external violence' to his body.

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