RELIGION

Mass funeral held for 20 Haitians who died in dismal prison

  • In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, some prisoners play dominoes, checkers or card games, during recreation time inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Inmates, some waiting up to eight years to see a judge, try to keep their sanity by maintaining a daily routine of push-ups and lifting jugs filled with dirty water. Others play checkers or dominoes. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

    In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, some prisoners play dominoes, checkers or card games, during recreation time inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Inmates, some waiting up to eight years to see a judge, try to keep their sanity by maintaining a daily routine of push-ups and lifting jugs filled with dirty water. Others play checkers or dominoes. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ludji Belizaire cries in front of the coffin which contains the body of her brother Etzer Belizaire, during the mass burial of inmates who died at the country's largest prison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tuesday Feb. 21, 2017. Ludjy Belizaire said she visited her incarcerated 25-year-old brother Etzer as often as she could over the last year, especially when he started complaining that he was weak with hunger and getting sick. He began shedding weight rapidly. "He got skinnier and skinnier. After a while, he didn't even look like himself anymore," she said, adding that her brother was jailed for six years on illegal gun charges without ever going before a judge. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

    Ludji Belizaire cries in front of the coffin which contains the body of her brother Etzer Belizaire, during the mass burial of inmates who died at the country's largest prison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tuesday Feb. 21, 2017. Ludjy Belizaire said she visited her incarcerated 25-year-old brother Etzer as often as she could over the last year, especially when he started complaining that he was weak with hunger and getting sick. He began shedding weight rapidly. "He got skinnier and skinnier. After a while, he didn't even look like himself anymore," she said, adding that her brother was jailed for six years on illegal gun charges without ever going before a judge. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, a prisoner bathes during recreation time inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Inmates, some waiting up to eight years to see a judge, try to keep their sanity by maintaining a daily routine. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

    In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, a prisoner bathes during recreation time inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Inmates, some waiting up to eight years to see a judge, try to keep their sanity by maintaining a daily routine. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

Haitian prosecutors are holding a mass funeral for 20 inmates who have died in Haiti's largest prison.

Relatives wailed in grief or stared stoically as the coffins arrived on Tuesday.

Shortages of food and medicine as well as diseases that flourish in packed Haitian lockups have led to an upsurge in malnutrition-related illnesses and other preventable diseases.

Marie Lumane Laurore broke into piercing screams as she collapsed before her son's coffin, crying: "This is a country without justice!"

Relatives say Eddy Laurore suffered anemia and tuberculosis over the two years he was jailed in Haiti's National Penitentiary on a rape charge.

U.N. Special Representative Sandra Honore says 42 detainee deaths so far this year are linked to "the worsening of cruel, inhuman and degrading" conditions.