After the publication of a letter from detainees claiming that 27-year-old Jaouad had been beaten to death by supervisors, the ministry reserves the right to take action.
The world | | By Philippe Gagnebet (Toulouse, correspondence)
In a statement released Saturday, April 21, the Ministry of justice condemned “The allegations circulating on the social networks ” after Jaouad’s death on April 14, a 27-year-old detainee found hanged in a cell in the disciplinary ward of the seysses prison in the suburbs of Toulouse.
According to the Chancellery, there is no evidence to suggest that his death is due to “Voluntary violence” :
” A investigation judicial process is currently underway. According to the information provided by the public prosecutor, there is no reason to claim that the death of this detained person be due to voluntary violence, a fortiori attributable to agents of the public service penitentiary. Thus, the autopsy carried out on April 16 concluded to death by asphyxiation. ”
The Ministry also announced that it reserves the right to give any action against the authors, or relay, of these allegations. These took the form of a letter written by prisoners from the prison of Seysses, published Friday on the site of Fly Away , a quarterly journal for prisoners and their families.
“Another death in the doldrums”
Entitled “Another death in the doldrums” , the long text evokes the death of the young prisoner. According to the authors, Jaouad was “Beaten by five or six supervisors for more than half an hour” , “Because he was banging in a door” .
“Then there was a great silence, and the supervisors began to discuss between them, estimate its weight and size to agree on a version of the facts. Then it was time for the bowl and, when his cell was reopened, they pretended to be discover hanged. ”
“It’s a shame to advance such things on our staff. ”
For his part, Jérôme Combelles, supervisor at the Seysses prison and union delegate UISP-FO refuted these accusations on Friday, at the World :
“I categorically assert that Jaouad was neither beaten nor murdered, it is a shame to advance such things on our staff. To lose a kid of this age is also a drama for us all. ”
According to Mr. Combelles, “After the parlor, Jaouad wanted go on a walk, which was refused. He took over the guards and was sent to the wards. It was there that he hanged himself with his pajamas. All the usual security measures had been taken before .
This death is, among other causes, the cause of the clashes that took place three nights in the district of Grand Mirail in Toulouse where the young man came from. At the Seyssees prison, about 200 detainees had in the same refused to reinstate their cell two evenings after the walk. This required the intervention of the regional intervention and security teams, the elite corps of prisons .
Saturday, April 21, calm had returned to Seysses according to Mr. Combelles. From Thursday, after a white march organized in the district of Izards by the family from Jaouad, his older brother had asked to “Pay attention to rumors and gossip” , before calling for a return to calm in the neighborhoods of Toulouse.
1120 detainees for 600 places
The seysses prison, which opened in 2003, now houses 1120 detainees for 600 places, most of them in pretrial detention or awaiting trial. The conditions of detention had already been denounced by the prison staff in January during a strike.
According to Jérôme Combelles, “There is about a supervisor for manage 100 inmates » and “Most of the staff do over 50 hours a month” ; “It is imperative that the administration sends us staff, it is urgent” .
In September 2017, after a visit to the institution, MP (LRM) Elisabeth Toutut-Picard described a prison “Which receives 252 arrivals per month or 10 to 12 daily arrivals, figures that are well beyond its capacity. Many of the 9 m2 cells house three inmates (two bunk beds and a mattress on the floor). ”
The member was told that in January 2017 the establishment had a total of 134 mattresses on the floor. According to 2015 figures from the Ministry of Justice, no less than 115 people committed suicide in prison. AT title There were 93 of them in 2014. Since the introduction of a suicide plan six years ago, the number of deaths has dropped, following the sad “record” of 1998 and 138 suicides.