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United Press International
Horrible prison conditions in Zambia

April 27, 2010
NEW YORK, April 27 (UPI) -- Malnutrition, overcrowding and grossly inadequate medical care are just some of the problems with which prisoners in Zambia must deal, a report said Tuesday.

The 135-page report prepared by Human Rights Watch and two other groups says prisoners also face the risk of torture or rape and the transmission of HIV and tuberculosis.

"Zambian prisoners are starved, packed into cells unfit for human habitation, and face beatings at the hands of certain guards or fellow inmates," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

More than a third of inmates in Zambian prisons are awaiting trial or other legal action and have not been convicted, the report said.

The report was prepared with the Prisons Care and Counseling Association and the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa.

All three groups are calling on the Zambian government to make immediate improvement in prison conditions.