A man in pre-trial detention committed suicide whilst alone in a locked cell in Namur jail on Monday night, revealed the Namur prosecutor’s office, refusing to elaborate on the charges against him. He was allegedly arrested recently in a case of rape and child pornography.
Given the circumstances, there is no doubt that it is a case of suicide, according to the prosecutor.
18 prisoners killed themselves in 2014, out of a total 59 prison deaths, “whether inside a prison or jail or at a hospital they were transferred to,” says DGEPI’s annual report (General Office of the Penitentiary System). Patient confidentiality means that elaborating on the other causes of death is not possible, explains the federal Ministry of Justice report. In 2012 there were 13 of the 47 deaths were suicides, compared to 14 of 56 in 2013.
“Belgian suicide rates are amongst the highest in developed countries, with over 2,000 deaths a year. This rate is significantly higher in prisons (4 times as frequent). Prisoners’ suicides are shocking for everyone concerned. Families and friends are distraught and angry, and often feel it is unfair. They tend to assume a prison is a safe place where ‘nothing will happen’ to their son, brother, husband, or friend,” explains the 2012 DGEPI annual report.