16 Ethiopians Jailed for Illegal Entry
MZUZU: The paradox of sending illegal immigrants to the already congested and foodless Malawi prisons continues without authorities attempting to find solutions on the negative impact such decisions bring.
In Rumphi, the magistrates court has sentenced sixteen Ethiopian nationals to six months in prison for illegal entry, further worsening congestion at the prison where inmates already sleep on top of each other due to lack of space.
Eighty others escaped after noting that they were being surrounded by police officers.
This year alone, over 500 illegal immigrants have been sentenced to Malawi prisons after being charged with illegal entry.
The Malawi Refugee Act, hurriedly formulated in the 1980s to counter the Mozambique war which led to influx of illegal immigrants, sanctions the arrest of illegal immigrants and the consequent imprisonment.
But in some countries when such asylum seekers are arrested they are taken to a refugee camp – verify their status to determine who are to be repatriated or not.
The 16 imprisoned Ethiopians are all male and their ages range from 18 to 29. - Zodiak Online
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