- Pope Francis appealed for compassion for prisoners around the world
- His appeal came following the deadliest jail riot in Brazil for two decades in which 56 inmates died
- The pope has also denounced life imprisonment as a virtual death sentence
Following the deadliest jail riot in Brazil for two decades, Pope Francis appealed for compassion especially for prisoners around the world urging for a more humane treatment for them.
The jail riot which left 56 inmates dead, erupted between rival drug gangs in a prison in the jungle city of Manaus, an article published by Reuters mentioned as it added that some inmates were decapitated and their bodies tossed over a wall of the penitentiary, which houses more than three times its capacity.
In his weekly general audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis expressed grief as he noted: “I express my pain and concern for what happened.”
“I pray for those who have died and their families and for all prisoners in that prison and those who work there. I renew my appeal that prisons should be places of re-education and re-integration into the community, and the conditions for prisoners should be fitting for human beings,” he was quoted saying.
Stating his utmost concern about the violence, he likewise renewed his appeal so that prisons would be “places of re-education” and “not overcrowded but places for re-insertion” in society after sentences are served.
Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has pressed for better prison conditions and the need for rehabilitation of inmates.
In addition, the pope has also denounced life imprisonment as a virtual death sentence.
As such, Pope Francis called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty as he cited the commandment “You shall not kill” was absolute and equally valid for the guilty as for the innocent.
“Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,” he earlier stated.