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YLE News, May 13, 2009

Problems with Afghan Prisons Reported before Prostitution Scandal

Last week it was reported that prostitution was taking place in another penal facility built with Finnish help – the Sheberghan women’s prison.

prison_for_women.jpg
(Photo: YLE.fi)

Suspicions of sexual exploitation of female inmates at the Maimana prison in Afghanistan were investigated already in the winter of 2007. The prison was built with the help of Finnish development cooperation funding. Last week it was reported that prostitution was taking place in another penal facility built with Finnish help – the Sheberghan women’s prison.

In 2007 an advisor for Finnish development cooperation activities urged that the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs should hire a supervisor for prison projects.The Foreign Ministry refused to pay for anything other than construction and repair costs of the prison when development advisor Eini von Becker proposed financing for supervision of the prison itself.

Many Other Failed Construction Projects

Many other Finnish construction projects in Afghanistan have either failed or been suspended, according to a number of project reports.The Gurwiwan police station was repaired with the help of Finnish financing in 2007. In less than a year the building became so dilapidated that the Americans had to build a new one.

The construction of a well at the Andkhoy District police station was suspended because the water that started coming out of it was salty. Many construction projects lacked toilet facilities and wells, even though Finland has put a high priority on the water facilities in its development cooperation activities, and shortages of clean water are a big problem for Afghanistan.

Eini von Becker noted that no police stations had toilet facilities for women.

Finland has prioritised the construction and repair of police stations in Afghanistan because it wants to promote the development of the rule of law in the country.

Category: Women, Corruption - Views: 10396