There are two distinct penal systems in the country. One,
operated by the Ministry of the Interior, is for criminal
offenses and accepts persons convicted and sentenced by the court
system. Statistics on crime and prison populations are not
published, and information on these subjects is scant and
The penal institutions operated by the Ministry of State
Security make up a second system. Little is known of them since
they operate outside the jurisdiction of the legal system.
Incarceration is for political, as opposed to criminal, offenses,
and sentencing may be dealt with through ministry hearings rather
than the judicial process.
The military legal system may impose military detention upon
soldiers for minor infractions for periods from ten days to three
months. This punishment is limited to males and does not
constitute a conviction to be entered on criminal records.
Data as of July 1987