Friday 9 December 2016

The queue that faces Hickey's wife if she visits him in prison

Cathal McMahon

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

Women queue with food parcels in the rain for hours yesterday to visit relatives at Bangu Prison Photo: Steve Humphreys
Women queue with food parcels in the rain for hours yesterday to visit relatives at Bangu Prison Photo: Steve Humphreys

This is the queue that faces Pat Hickey's wife if she wants to visit him at Brazil's largest prison.

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From early yesterday morning, hundreds of women queued in the rain outside the notorious Bangu Prison in West Rio de Janeiro.

Another view of the queue outside Bangu Prison Photo: Steve Humphreys
Another view of the queue outside Bangu Prison Photo: Steve Humphreys

Mr Hickey, who stepped down as Olympics Council of Ireland (OCI) president after his arrest last Wednesday, is currently housed at one of the jails in the Gericinó Penitentiary Complex, known locally as Bangu Prison.

He is sharing a cell with fellow Irishman Kevin Mallon (36). Both are being held in connection with an alleged ticket-touting probe at the Rio Olympics

The Irishmen had their heads shaved upon entry and officials at the jail say they are being treated the same as any other prisoner. The unit they are staying in has 396 inmates.

A spokeswoman for the prison said: "Every detainee gets treated equally, and has the right to bathe, meals and visits only once the detainee has officially registered."

Sylviane Hickey
Sylviane Hickey

On Sunday morning hundreds of women queued from the early hours to visit their loved ones in the prison.

Mr Hickey's wife Sylviane was not seen amongst the visitors. However, she too would have to wait her place in the queue if she wanted to visit the 71-year-old.

The prison complex is home to some of Rio's most dangerous murderers and drug dealers.

The food served to prisoners is nutritious but simple. Breakfast is bread with butter and coffee with milk. Later in the day, a snack is provided - either bread with butter or cake and a guaraná-flavoured soft drink. For dinner, prisoners are served rice or pasta, beans, manioc flour, meat or fish, vegetables, salad, a dessert and a soft drink.

Irish Independent

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