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Statement: Protect People In Prison From COVID-19

Amnesty International, along with JustSpeak and People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) have issued a joint letter calling again on Justice Sector leaders to take urgent action to protect incarcerated people from COVID-19.

The following can be attributed to Lisa Woods, Campaign Director, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand:

"We are deeply concerned by the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.

Due to the communal nature of prisons, people held there are particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID. People in prison do not have the same autonomy and opportunities to protect themselves as others do.

The responsibility to care for people in prison falls on the agencies restricting their liberty, and the Ministers responsible for those agencies. We join JustSpeak and PAPA in urging the government to take action to ensure the health and wellbeing of people in the criminal justice system, including by reducing the number of people held in prison and ensuring effective health and safety measures are being implemented.

People in prison deserve dignity and care - investing in measures that uphold the wellbeing of people in prison is vital to ensuring we all get through this."

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