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Prisoner found dead

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — A 25-year-old prisoner was found dead in his cell at Leribe police station last Tuesday morning.

The man, whose name was not revealed because his next of kin were still to be informed, was awaiting trial for a battery of charges that included armed robbery, stock theft and illegal possession of a firearm.

Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha said a junior police officer who was allocating chores to the prisoners discovered the deceased on the morning of June 29.

The man had been arrested a day earlier and according to records, he had no known injuries or health problem, Masupha said.

“The other prisoners explained that they did not know what had happened to him. They said when the man did not wake up they assumed that he was still asleep.”

Masupha said they suspected that some police officers could have contributed to the man’s death through torture.

“A case has been opened in relation to the death because we suspect that our colleagues could have contributed to his death,” Masupha said.

“We are carrying out investigations because the police have no right to torture suspects,” he said.

Masupha said this was the first time a prisoner had died in police custody this year.

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