Not even the COVID-19 pandemic was enough to keep the promise made last year by President Andry Rajoelina to decongest prisons.
The 82 prisons in Madagascar continue to be filled with people in pre-trial detention: 54% of the 27,000 detainees. The prison population is almost three times the maximum capacity of 10,000.
COVID-19 could have been an opportunity to release pre-trial prisoners who have not been charged yet and those charged with petty crimes, such as stealing a toothbrush.
The only response to the spread of the virus in prisons was in June with the pardon of about 1,000 detainees: one in 27.