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Bangladesh jails to allow inmates to speak to families by mobile phone

  • Kamal Talukdar, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-03-28 08:48:45 BdST

Inmates in jail will be allowed to use mobile phones twice a month to speak to their families.

The service will be introduced initially at the Tangail District Jail as a pilot project. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan inaugurated the project on Wednesday.

Colonel Md Iqbal Hasan, additional inspector general of prisons, told bdnews24.com on Tuesday that the service would be introduced gradually in all prisons throughout the country following the result of the pilot project.

“A prisoner will be allowed to speak to his family once every fortnight. Initially we will allow them 10 minutes to speak. However, the jail superintendent can increase or decrease the time,” he said.

At present, family members can meet the convicted inmates twice a month and other prisoners once a month.

There will be a small charge applied to mobile phone conversations, which will be deducted from the amount deposited by the inmates, according to Hasan.

He also said the conversation over the phone will be recorded. Every prisoner will have to provide two mobile phone numbers when they are registered and can call to those two numbers only, he said.

Family members will be notified the time of call through a text message, the day before an inmate makes the call. 

Abul Bashar, jailor of Tangail District Jail, said those accused or convicted of terrorism will not be allowed to use the service. He also said prisoners will be charged Tk 1 per minute to talk over phone.

The project has been initiated by Access to Information (A2I) Service Innovation Fund of Prime Minister’s Office and Bangladesh Jail Authority.

He said there will be four phone booths made in a room inside the Tangail District Jail adding bigger jails will need more booths.