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In the Philippines, people with a disability get special treatment…
…they get beaten and robbed more often.
Billy survived appalling and inhumane conditions for several years whilst being held in one of the worst prisons in the Philippines.
Prisoners Abroad’s Senior Caseworker, Matthew Pinches, described the conditions that Billy endured as some of the most savage that he has ever seen.
What makes Billy’s survival even more remarkable is that Billy was affected by Thalidomide from birth and because of this, his hands are permanently twisted and he has no thumbs. Due to Billy’s disability, he couldn’t carry the heavy containers people used to fetch water in, and when he tried to cook on the prison’s small stoves, he burned his arms.
You might imagine that someone with a disability would receive greater compassion and consideration than an able-bodied person. But, as Billy quickly discovered, he was seen as an easy target, somebody who could be beaten and robbed (at will).
Don’t Fall Foul was an online awareness raising campaign, during the summer of football, highlighting the dangers of imprisonment in Brazil.
Breaking the law in Brazil can lead to strict penalties and long sentences in conditions that would be not only shocking but terrifying for British travellers. Conditions are appalling – individuals often find themselves in dirty, squalid and overcrowded cells – with no or limited access to food and water, no bedding or any basic necessities. Gang violence is rife and danger to life is a serious concern. Prisoners Abroad is supporting 11 men and women currently imprisoned in Brazil.
John and Derek spent nearly three years in a Brazilian prison and their stories are shocking; both men strongly discourage anyone from committing a crime, as the consequences are severe. See their video here.
On Sunday 11th April 2010 at 8:05am, Jan Connor received a phone call that would change her family’s life forever, but nothing could prepare her for what she was about to be told…
It was a call from the Foreign Office. The caller informed Jan that her partner, Ray had been arrested in Lima on drugs charges; “My mind went numb” and “I remember not knowing what to say, or ask”.
See the video and read more: www.prisonersabroad.org.uk/jan.
In November 2013, Prisoners Abroad worked in partnership on the ‘Know before you go’ Government campaign to highlight the consequences of the use, possession and smuggling of drugs in countries around the world.
“FCO and Prisoners Abroad unite to warn of consequences of drugs abroad”
More than 850 British nationals are currently locked up in prisons across the globe for drug-related offences, often detained for months without trial and facing distressing living conditions.
Pauline Crowe, Chief Executive of Prisoners Abroad, said:
“In many countries, men and women find themselves without access to food, clean water and the most basic of medical care. We urge people to consider the unsanitary conditions, overcrowded cells and the constant threat of disease before they get involved in drugs. They may have to live through these conditions for many, many years.”
Read the Drugs in Detention Press Release.
It’s very easy to believe that if someone is convicted of a crime, they deserve everything they get. But does this include being shackled in a stinking and overcrowded cell for months on end? Living in constant fear of beatings? Being fed slops? Falling ill but being denied medical treatment and feeling completely and hopelessly alone?
Forgotten, starved, shackled and abused
These are the conditions that hundreds of UK citizens imprisoned abroad are enduring right now, in over 85 countries around the world. Since 1978, Prisoners Abroad has helped thousands of Britons through terrible times, providing them with basic items like clean water, food, soap and newspapers. We provide vitamin tablets, which help prevent infection, and emergency medical care. We help people stay in touch with friends and family back home, giving them the strength to make it through their ordea