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Bye bye TV: British prisons crack down on privileges

LONDON — British prisoners will soon have to start earning privileges, such as the right to watch TV and wear their own clothes, that were considered standard before. Instead, all convicted male prisoners will wear a uniform for the first two weeks of their sentence. They will also lose automatic access to daytime TV, gym equipment and personal spending money.

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Zimbabwe prisoners need 'sex gadgets' to curb urges, senator says

Sithembile Mlotshwa told a parliamentary committee that prisoners can go without food and clothing as long as they satisfy their sexual needs, and should be given "sex gadgets" to "curb homosexuality."
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Seventy foreigners arrested in Zimbabwe on charges of trying to topple the president of Equatorial Guinea leave a court set up at a maximum security prison in Harare, on March 23, 2003. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG — A Zimbabwean senator has called for prison inmates to be provided with sex gadgets for "when the desire arises," to prevent them from "spreading" homosexuality.

Sithembile Mlotshwa, a senator from Matobo, Zimbabwe, told a parliamentary committee Monday that prisoners can go without food and clothing as long as they satisfy their sexual needs, the state-run Herald newspaper reported.

In Zimbabwe, prison conditions are notoriously terrible, and many prisoners never make it out alive. A 2009 documentary aired on South African television showed emaciated prisoners living in "death camp"-like conditions.  

According to the Herald, Mlotshwa "urged the government to forgo clothes and food and provide 'sex gadgets' in prisons to curb homosexuality."

“Considering that some of the same-sex orientation (homosexuality) come from prisons and when those people are out they then spread that orientation, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that vice is stopped?” she asked the Committee on Gender and Development.

“In other countries they provide sex gadgets and they have also constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises,” she said.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is notoriously anti-gay. His rants about homosexuality have for years been a staple of his public speeches, and gays and lesbians have faced serious political repression under his rule. 

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Over 500 deaths last year inside Venezuelan prisons

Prisoners in Venezuela often brandish heavier weapons than the guards that watch them.
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Relatives of inmates of El Rodeo I and II penitentiaries cry outside the prisons compounds in Guatire, outskirts of Caracas. (Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images)
With inmates wielding machine guns, rifles and grenades and guards often unwilling to enter the overcrowded buildings for fear of their own death, jails in Venezuela have become a lawless territory that magnify the violence outside their walls.
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