GITAMARA , RWANDA
of the biggest killers is foot rot.
With no room to do anything but stand on floors covered in fellow inmate’s piss and shit, the prisoners’ feet start to go gangrenous with toes turning black and dropping off.
The lucky ones have their lower limbs chopped off before it spreads through the body.
The other danger comes from your fellow inmates.
With no way of fairly sharing the food out, it leaves many slowly starving to death.
This has led to incidents in which desperate prisoners, unable to control their raging hunger, will attack a cellmate and try to eat him. The prison is so packed because of the explosion in prisoner numbers after the Rwandan massacres when the Hutu and Tutsi tribes started hacking each other to bits with machetes.
At the height of overcrowding around 12 prisoners would die each day – either through disease, suffocation or attack.
But having your toes fall off and getting eaten by your cellmate is a relative luxury in Gitamara Prison. It’s much better than finding yourself in The Cellar.
This is an underground block that investigators discovered in 2007. Prisoners are locked up in total darkness, never seeing any light.