24 children live with imprisoned moms in Takhar
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Twenty-four children have been living with their convicted mothers at the women’s jail in northern Takhar province, an official said on Sunday.
Abdul Wadud, the jail in charge, told Pajhwok Afghan News the 24 children aged between four to nine years stayed with their mothers in the jail.
He said the children and their imprisoned mothers were deprived of basic facilities like education and the government was not concerned about them.
He said: “We are worried about the situation, the mothers are jailed for crimes they had committed, but their children who should go to school and be brought up in a proper environment are also living behind the bars.”
The jail is run from a rented home having three rooms where 40 female prisoners are kept along with 24 children.
The children inside the prison have no facilities to play or study and they wear plastic sandals in the harsh winter.
Takhar Prisons Director Col. Mahmoodul Hassan Shahidzada Ikrami said the issue children in the jail had been discussed with Takhar officials, human rights watchdogs and UNAMA but no positive response was received.
Ikrami acknowledged no educational and entertainment facility had been provided to the children inside the prison.
He warned the children faced a dangerous future ahead if they were deprived of an education and other basic facilities.
“I am worried about these children and I have shared my worries with local officials, UNAMA, human rights organizations and other institutions in the hope that a solution would be found,” said Ikrami.
He said it was the responsibility of the Social Affairs and Kabour Department to address the issue of these children.
But Nooruddin Mutaba, head of the labour department, said they lacked resources to address facilitate the children. He, however, said the children could be shifted to a kindergarten.
“Children up to the age of seven years can be shifted to the kindergarten during day time as the facility is not available at night.”
The prison officials said they lacked facilities to regularly shift the children to the kindergarten and bring them back.
Meanwhile, Bismaillah Waziri, head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for Takhar, said they were aware of the presence of some children in Takhar jail.
Governor spokesman Sunnatullah Taimur said construction work on a new prison was underway in Takhar. After its completion, all issues related to the prison would be resolved, he said.
He said education and entertainment facilities for children would be provided in the new prison.
According to Article 26 of the Constitution crime is a personal act. Investigation, arrest and detention of an accused as well as penalty execution shall not incriminate another person.
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