To curb the spread of the virus, Changi prison has implemented segregation measures to prevent new inmates from interacting with the old ones. New inmates are not allowed to leave their cell and have to be confined for 14 days
Ordinarily, everyone is allowed one hour of yard time. Yard is an indoor space where everyone can exercise, watch TV, read old newspapers and socialise. But fears about the virus has resulted in a suspension of this privilege
The denial of yard time would’ve been easier to endure if it wasn’t for the fact that prison cells at Changi are dismal. The space that we were in was so small that it could fit 4 of us exactly without much room left to move around. Air circulation was poor because there were no fans, save for a vent above the cell door. The only window was covered with a huge wire net which sealed off almost all of the natural light. All activities including toilet, shower, and meals were done in the cell. Food is given to you through a small opening at the bottom of the door。
You are only given a thin straw mat to sleep on the hard floor. Personal books were forbidden. Only prison books were allowed and you’re not provided a choice of what to read. So I ended up suffering through badly written crime novels. In mates are also not allowed to make any phone calls. It was even worse for the poor Vietnamese guy who shared the cell with me for 2 days as he spoke no English or any of our local languages。
I can understand the pressure of preventing an outbreak in an environment such as the prison, where everyone is living in such close proximity to one another. But the psychological torture of living in a closed space for the inmates, with no natural light and almost nothing to do, is inhuman. Isn’t there a way to rotate and schedule yard time for different inmates even if not everyday but on alternate days? We made these suggestions but was told nothing could be done.
My sentence was for 7 days, so I wasn’t subjected to the full 14 day confinement. Unfortunately, my fellow inmates have to endure the torture of being cooped up like pigs in a pen for another week。