Mozambique prison wardens force inmates into prostitution: report

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Wardens at Mozambique's largest women's prison are forcing inmates into prostitution and punishing those who refuse, according to a local anti-corruption organisation.

In a report published Tuesday by the Centre for Public Integrity, guards at the Ndlavela Women's Prison in Maputo are forcing inmates to have sex with clients for between $50 and $250, cash which the wardens pocketed for themselves.

The report said:

The women are taken out of the prison "three or four times a week" and taken to guesthouses where they are pimped out to clients who were "well placed in society.

Those who complied were offered special treatment in jail, but those who did not were "tortured," the CIP said.

CIP director Edson Cortez told AFP that the sexual exploitation has been going for more than a decade.

"This is not something isolated. It is a scheme that has lasted for at least 10 years, according to the testimonies of the inmates and former inmates," he said.

During a six-month undercover operation, CIP investigators pretended to be clients and used hidden cameras to record to what was going on.

Following the report's publication, Justice Minister Helena Kida visited the prison on Wednesday and ordered an urgent government inquiry, the findings of which are expected in two weeks.

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