Beyond Bars: A Himal series
Across Southasia, the incarcerated are impacted by colonial-era laws, delayed trials, overcrowded prisons and terrible conditions of internment – a broadly common set of problems and predicaments, even amid local variations. Inflexible, punitive policies entrenched in our justice systems have outsized impacts on the poor and marginalised, are not cost-effective, and often result in punishments disproportionate to the crimes they are attached to. Himal Southasian asks leading thinkers on the region's carceral systems to reflect on prisons and imprisonment in the countries they live in or study – and to imagine what a more just system would be. Through examining our prisons, we also examine our justice systems and societies, and draw attention to Southasians living behind bars.
All illustrations by Nahal Sheikh.
In this edition:
Andrew M Jefferson on how the military coup in Myanmar has exacerbated prison inequalities
Haroun Rahimi on the development of Afghanistan's modern state and carceral system
Sharmila Purkayastha on Shilpa Gupta and Salil Tripathi's anthology of prison poetry
Zille Huma, Maira Mumtaz and Johar Imam on why Pakistan's prisons cannot be viewed as a monolith
Nikita Sonavane on caste-based policing and discrimination in India
Sayrat Salekin Sattik on how punishment in Bangladesh begins before even entering the prison system