Pregnant inmates want hospital transfer because of 'despicable' prison conditions

Two women serving five-month jail terms for pickpocketing are at an advanced stage of pregnancy and want to be transferred to hospital

Two pregnant inmates have protested the despicable conditions in prison for somebody in their condition
Two pregnant inmates have protested the despicable conditions in prison for somebody in their condition

A lawyer for two pregnant prison inmates has called on the authorities to transfer them to hospital for medical care, saying they were being held in unacceptable conditions for somebody in their condition.

Iliyana Kirilova Ilieva and Genoveva Stoilova from Bulgaria are serving five month sentences for pickpocketing and are both at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

In a bristling judicial protest filed this morning by lawyer Etienne Calleja, the director general of Corradino Correctional Facility was accused of failing to give the women assurance that they were going to be given the necessary medical care and treatment in prison. 

The women are being held in "despicable" substandard conditions, including stifling heat and general lack of hygiene, the lawyer said.

The recently-appointed Director of Prisons Lt Col. Alexander Dalli had offered to place the women in the facility’s airconditioned library but this was taken by the lawyer as an insult, which showed how insensitive he was to the medical needs of prisoners and their babies. The lawyer said the unborn children were "certainly not serving any sentences but unfortunately for them, still fall under your care”.

The lawyer said the prison director's response was  that he did not perform miracles. "The women are not, in fact, requesting divine intervention but that they are given what is owed to every pregnant female inmate by right," Calleja said.

The lawyer insisted that the inmates' transfer to hospital did not constitute a miracle but removed the serious, grave and difficult responsibility from the prison director's shoulders.

The judicial protest warns that failure to provide the women with the necessary medical care and transfer them to hospital would result in the director being held responsible for any medical incident or complication to their pregnancy.

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