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Prison riot deaths mar Haitian government

On Dec. 1, with the U.N. peacekeeping force here was preoccupied with the heavy gunfire erupting around the national palace as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visited Haitian President Boniface Alexandre, the smoke billowing from the national penitentiary a few blocks away drew scant attention.

Prisoners in a three-story cellblock called "the Titanic" had rioted, broke free from their cells, set fire to mattresses and brandished lengths of water pipe as weapons. Guards called in a special police unit that helped quell the riot. Police officials said seven prisoners were killed and more than 40 detainees and several guards were wounded. But prisoners and other witnesses said the government is concealing a bloodbath in which police and guards killed dozens of the rioters...........

[  ganzer Artikel - washingtontimes.com

60 prisoners slain to quell riots in Haiti’s capital

"I saw everything," said a prisoner who was released two days after the riot and is now in hiding. "It was a massacre. More than 60 were killed."..........

[  ganzer Artikel - deccanherald.com

Seven killed in clashes at Haiti's largest prison

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP): Seven prisoners died and four police officers were wounded late Wednesday in an uprising at Haiti's largest prison, authorities said Thursday.The violence broke out just before inmates were to be moved within the national prison, according to Commissioner Fritzner Pierre, deputy head of the Haitian Prison Administration.He said the prisoners grew violent, setting fire to part of the prison.Police, backed by soldiers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), were deployed to the national prison, the country's largest, and calm was restored overnight.

Gunshots fired at the prison were audible during the night, but police said they were unable to determine the source of the shots.Earlier Wednesday in Port-au-Prince, an intense gun battle broke out just outside Haiti's presidential palace, injuring eight people as US Secretary of State Colin Powell met with interim government leaders, authorities said.A group of about 15 people fired shots about 328 feet from the presidential palace's fence as they stood on top of a transport vehicle, an AFP journalist witnessed.

[  caribbeannetnews.com

Four die in Venezuela prison riot

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Four inmates died and six were injured during five riots in different prisons this weekend in Venezuela, an official said Sunday.Two inmates died and three were injured during shootings between inmates in Tocoron prison in central Aragua state on Friday morning, according to the National Prison Director Erling Rojas.Another inmate died Friday and one was wounded during an armed riot in Tocuyito penitentiary in central Carabobo state, said Rojas.One inmate died during an armed fight with other inmates in El Rodeo I jail Saturday and another was injured the same day in another shooting in nearby El Rodeo II, in central Miranda state, Rojas said.

An inmate was injured during a riot in Maracaibo prison in western Venezuela Saturday, he added.Prison violence is common in Venezuela, and tends to escalate during the December holidays. Guns, knifes and drugs are often discovered on Venezuelan inmates. Rojas said authorities were pushing a reform to reduce violence in prisons. At least 247 inmates died and 536 were injured during the first 10 months of 2004, according to a report by local human rights group Venezuelan Prison Observatory

Some 20,000 inmates live in 30 jails in Venezuela which were designed for only 15,000. About half of the prisoners are awaiting trials.

[  cnn.com

3 Yanks targeted in jail riot
by Celeste Katz

A Bronx man and two other Americans were targeted for death in a bloody prison uprising just outside the Afghan capital of Kabul yesterday, authorities said.The overcrowded, ramshackle Pul-e Charkhi jail - a holding spot for Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects - erupted in violence yesterday morning when five inmates armed with razors attacked a guard leading them in morning prayers.The prisoners took the guard's AK-47 rifle before stabbing and beating him to death, said prison warden Abdul Salam Bakhshi. The battle raged for most of the day before Afghan troops quelled the uprising. Three more guards and four inmates died in the fighting.

The three Americans - alleged vigilantes Edward .Caraballo of the Bronx and Jonathan Idema and Brent Bennett - have been sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison for torturing Afghan citizens in an unauthorized terrorist-hunting mission.Idema's New York-area lawyer, John Tiffany, said Idema contacted him from Pul-e Charkhi and said the Americans had been targeted by the five inmates who attacked the guard and attempted the escape.

The Americans are incarcerated in a different part of the prison. Caraballo, 42, an Emmy-winning video journalist, has said he was following Idema, a former Green Beret, and Bennett to film a documentary on the war on terror.

[  nydailynews.com

Afghan soldiers storm jail, ending bloody standoff with inmates

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)
Afghan troops stormed a notorious prison in a hail of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades Friday, ending a 10-hour standoff that began when four inmates once suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda tried to escape. Four inmates and four guards were killed in the day's violence. Explosions rocked the crumbling, overcrowded Pul-e Charkhi jail — which holds Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects as well as common criminals — as troops launched the assault just after nightfall.

The standoff began in the morning when four inmates — three Pakistanis and an Iraqi — used razors to attack a guard leading them to morning prayers. They took his AK-47 rifle, then beat and stabbed him to death, said Abdul Salam Bakhshi, the prison warden.A gunbattle ensued that killed three other guards and two of the would-be escapees. The two surviving inmates, both Pakistani, scavenged a second gun and barricaded themselves with both rifles on the jail's war-damaged second floor, Bakhshi said.They remained holed up for 10 hours, taking pot shots at hundreds of security personnel ringing the jail, keeping them from reaching three wounded soldiers inside the complex.In the evening assault, one soldier was wounded. Another soldier who called himself Zabullah came out, still panting, and told reporters: "We killed them."

After one last burst of gunfire, troops were visibly relaxed and went through the pitch-black area with flashlights."We searched all the rooms, and it's now under control, so we're leaving," said Amin Jan, an army commander.Also at the prison are three Americans who are serving sentences of eight to 10 years for torturing Afghans on a freelance hunt for terrorists. Jonathan Idema, Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo are seeking to overturn their convictions in a trial that embarrassed U.S. and NATO forces and sowed confusion about America's role in Afghanistan.Idema's attorney, John Tiffany, said his client called him from the prison and said the Americans had been targeted for death by the four inmates who attempted the jailbreak.

Idema made other claims during his sometimes-bizarre trial, saying he was in daily contact with U.S. officials "at the highest level," including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office — but the U.S. government has described him as a vigilante working on his own. He had also accused the FBI of orchestrating his arrest. During the standoff, about 200 police deployed outside the prison, joined by four German armored personnel carriers from the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force that keeps peace in the capital.

Jail officials used a loudspeaker to warn prisoners to "surrender or die." The four men who tried to escape had all once been held in a northern jail run by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of country's most powerful warlords, on suspicion of fighting alongside al-Qaeda and the Taliban, though they were all released earlier this year, suggesting they were not considered high-level militants. They were re-arrested in Kabul for unspecified common crimes several months ago. As the standoff dragged on past nine hours, five truckloads of Afghan soldiers arrived and deployed to the front and back of the prison's thick stone walls. Several soldiers already had taken up positions on the roof.

Pul-e Charkhi, located on the capital's outskirts, was the scene of summary executions under a series of Afghan regimes, most recently the hard-line Taliban. In August, a U.N. human rights expert urged the immediate release of an estimated 725 Taliban fighters taken prisoner in 2001, saying they were living in conditions that violate "every standard of human rights." The jail is unrelated to the detention facilities that the U.S. military runs for captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

[  usatoday.com

Cubans riot at Bahamian detention centre

NASSAU, Bahamas (BIS): The Bahamian Minister of Labour and Immigration, Vincent Peet, declared Friday that the situation at the Detention Centre on Carmichael Road has returned to some degree of normalcy following Thursday's riot by Cuban detainees.Minister Peet said the Detention Centre is under the control of the lawful authorities after the uprising that injured 11 Defence Force officers, nine Cuban detainees, and saw the destruction by fire of one of the dormitories.He said officers of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, who provide security at the Detention Centre, are nursing bruises and lacerations sustained in the line of duty.Of the detainees taken to hospital, all but two have been treated and discharged. The two who remain have received treatment for injuries from rubber rounds and are recovering under observation.

"We are fortunate that there were no serious injuries in the incident," Minister Peet told a press briefing at the Ministry of Labour and Immigration in the Post Office Building on East Hill Street.Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service, Frederick Mitchell, also attended the briefing.Minister Peet said although the exact figure has yet to be determined, the Detention Centre has suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage.The Detention Centre houses irregular migrants until their status is decided in accordance with relevant laws and conventions.Minister Peet said detainees at the Detention Centre are and have been treated fairly, and impatience with "due process" is no reason for arson.

"There is an issue of the possibility of refugee status. Which often arises with respect to Cuban nationals and The Bahamas attempts to deal with these matters as quickly as possible," he said.The Minister also cautioned "would-be agents of provocation" from outside the country that while "strong representation" is expected, incitement to destroy public property and disrupt public order is unacceptable."Police investigations are ongoing, and certainly at the end of those investigations, a determination will be made based on what the Police conclude. The matter is clearly in its early stages and, as we speak, the Police is investigating and will take time to come to a conclusion," Minister Peet said.

He said there are inquiries and concerns with regard to the incident at the Detention Centre, which The Bahamas Government is addressing.Minister Mitchell said The Bahamas' Embassy and Consular officials abroad have been notified of the statement issued by the Government Thursday following the riot.He said the most intense line of inquiry has come from South Florida, particularly in Miami, where there were demonstrations Friday afternoon by a small group of people carrying signs directed at seeking to "affect adversely" The Bahamas' tourism industry. "The Consulate remains open. The Consul also reports that a number of persons have been calling up using, as we say in The Bahamas, bad words over the phone. But the staff at the Mission have been asked to simply remain calm and collected and to go about doing their work," Minister Mitchell said.

He said all the various groups who have made inquiries, have been briefed about the incident, in an attempt to quell rumours that have been spreading in the Cuban-American community in South Florida that persons died in the incident."And we have made it clear that no one died in the incident. We've also made it clear that the reports of abuse of detainees are false and without foundation," Minister Mitchell said.He said foreign ministries in countries where other Bahamian diplomatic missions are located have asked for and have been provided with the official statement issued by The Bahamas Government on the incident.Said Minister Mitchell: "I would only add for Bahamians, by way of background, to know that this is a difficult geo-political issue, which is not of the making of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We happen to sit, by accident of geography, between the United States, which is the country that the people are trying to get to, and Cuba, the country where the people are seeking to leave."

"And we have an agreement with the Cuban government, which we are bound to follow, subject to our international obligations. And it is the sensitivity, the attempt to be humane in dealing with this very difficult situation where we sit, that often causes delay, but we try to act as quickly as possible, as sensitively as possible and as humanely as possible."And that is how we intend to continue to work to make sure that we fulfill our obligations, both on a bi-lateral basis to the Cubans, and on a multi-lateral basis according to the international treaty which says someone who is a refugee has certain rights, once it has been determined that they are in fact refugees."So I think it is important for Bahamians to understand that and not feel put upon in any way by this. This is our country. We stand up for the integrity of our country, and don't let anybody put us on the defensive over this. We've acted as responsibly as we can, given the resources that we have, and given all the obligations, both bilateral and multilateral, that we have."

Minister Mitchell said he and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Patricia Rodgers also discussed the incident with Cuban Consul General Mr Felix Wilson Hernandez on Thursday.Minister Peet said he spent over two hours at the Detention Centre Friday with the Defence Force and immigration officers."We know that we have to, in my view, strengthen the management at the Centre. Our primary obligation really is to protect our people, and I am very concerned and upset that some 11 of our officers sustained injuries because of the uprising at the Centre.

"I want to commend them on the manner in which they handled the extreme provocation and fortunately none of them were seriously injured, but too many of them sustained some injuries."So we have to ensure that the numbers are increased, both from Immigration and the Defence Force, to ensure that going forward, we can have greater security at the Centre. But the Government's obligation and duty is to, first of all, ensure that our people are secure and safe, and then to honour our obligations under the conventions Minister Peet said the Centre is now safe and the Government will do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains secure.He said that 25 Cuban detainees remain at the Centre while 33 were transferred to Her Majesty's Prison in Fox Hill.

[  caribbeannetnews.com

Death of prisoner from torture sparks riots

Sanghar, December 12: Riots broke out in the district jail, Sanghar, after the death of an under trial prisoner due to torture by the jail officials on December 12.The relatives of the deceased claimed that the deceased Mohammad Akbar, son of Bachal Khan Mari, died when the jail staff put gutter water mixed with lime in his nostrils.The relatives revealed that the deceased was sent to the district jail under the Arms Act and other cases three months prior to his death. He sent a message through Mohammad Tufail and Ghulam Hussain, two of his inmates who were bailed out earlier in December, to send Rs. 3000 otherwise he would be tortured.

The demand was fulfilled and the amount was paid at the gate. The father of the deceased claimed that the jail staff demanded more money. He said that his son wept when he met him in front of the session court and asked for more money to be sent to the jail officials. Despite this, the jail officials resorted to torture which led to the death of Mohammad Akbar.The jail superintendent, Younas Masih, however, claimed that the deceased died due to cardiac arrest.On hearing the news of the death, several dozen of youths of the Mari tribe gathered in the Civil Hospital, where the body of the deceased was brought for post-mortem, and raised slogans against the jail staff. They attacked the jail staff, snatched a gun from a sepoy and resorted to aerial firing. The district police were called in to control the situation.

The prisoners also started rioting when they came to know about the death of their jail inmate. Contingents of the frontier constabulary were called in to control the riots which lobbed tear gas shells to subdue the prisoners. The jail became a battle ground and no one was allowed to approach the jail.

[  www.hrcp-web.org

Outrage over black prison deaths
Source: The Age November
By Meaghan Shaw, Mark Todd

Progress in reducing Aboriginal deaths in custody had been slow, the Federal Government conceded yesterday, in the wake of the Palm Island riot."When you look at the fact that the inquiry into Aboriginal deaths in custody was some years ago, progress has been slow, but we will continue to work at it,"said Justice Minister Chris Ellison. He was responding to a question from the only Aborigine in Parliament, the Australian Democrats' Aden Ridgeway, who said indigenous people were 15 times more likely than the rest of the community to be jailed.Senator Ridgeway referred to two recent race riots - at Redfern in February and Palm Island last week - that related to Aboriginal deaths in custody and anger over police relations.

But Senator Ellison said the issue was one for all governments, not just the Commonwealth.He said he believed the answer lay in juvenile diversion programs and targeting drug and alcohol abuse.Queensland Premier Peter Beattie yesterday defended police use of stun guns on three men after the Palm Island riot. He said officers used "appropriate" force.Islanders have complained that police in full riot gear kicked down doors and pointed weapons at people after the police station was fire-bombed.

The court house was also destroyed and the police barracks damaged in riots following the death of Cameron Doomadgee, 36, while in police custody.The riots began after locals were told an autopsy had found Mr Doomadgee had four broken ribs and a ruptured spleen and liver."I don't believe it is reasonable to expect the police to deal with these matters with one hand tied behind their back," Mr Beattie said. "When was the last time there was a police or court house burned down in Queensland?"Eighteen people, including a boy, 14, have appeared in the Townsville Magistrates Court charged with offences including riot, burglary, arson, serious assault on police, wilful damage and going armed to cause fear. The Queensland Police Union has called for charges of attempted murder.

Mr Beattie rejected a call for the accused to be subject to community-based punishment.A traditional court headed by Aboriginal elders exists on the island, but Mr Beattie said the matters should go through the courts.Aboriginal activist Murrandoo Yanner called for the charges to be dropped.A relative of Mr Doomadgee, Mr Yanner said it would be an act of goodwill."They are yet to make any gesture towards the families of the deceased - a man we believe to be murdered by the police," Mr Yanner told ABC radio.The family has asked for an independent autopsy by a pathologist from Victoria's Institute of Medicine.

It is likely to delay the funeral, planned for Friday.The day after Mr Doomadgee's death, a 36-year-old Aborigine died in custody in Normanton, in the Gulf of Carpentaria.- with agencies

[  kooriweb.org

Malabon jail under close watch
By Edson Tandoc Jr.

AFTER the disturbance at the Malabon City Jail that led to the ouster of its warden, Mayor Canuto Oreta has ordered a weekly monitoring of the conditions of inmates. Oreta told the Inquirer yesterday he had assigned Councilor Alfonso “Boyong” Mañalac to inspect the city jail once a week to make sure violence would not erupt again. The mayor made the move as Senator Manuel Villar, chair of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, sought an investigation on the causes of the commotion on Friday.

Inmates caused the removal of warden Lyndon Torres for alleged corruption and maltreatment of prisoners. Villar said, "If allegations are proven true, it is our responsibility to subject him to further inquiry." The senator also urged the passage of Senate Bill 680 which he filed to seek prison reforms. Yesterday, National Capital Region Bureau of Jail Management and Penology director Armando Llamasares appointed Joseph Vela as the Malabon City Jail deputy officer-in-charge.

Torres has been assigned to the regional office while investigation is still ongoing, Llamasares added. The investigation is expected to be completed today. "Masaya kami. Makakahinga na kami ng maluwag," an inmate told the Inquirer after Llamasares announced the relief of Torres.
The inmates accused Torres of torturing inmates and charging them for beds, conjugal visits and other fees. Torres denied the allegations, saying he belonged to a rich family so he had no reason to resort to extortion. The inmates said he was addicted to cockfighting.

[  news.inq7.net

Jail death spurs Palm Island riot

Angry mobs burnt down buildings and threatened to kill police and media during a riot over a death in custody on troubled Palm Island, off the north Queensland coast. Up to 300 residents of the Aboriginal community rampaged over the death of local man Cameron Doomadgee, torching the island's police station, lobbing petrol bombs at the police residential barracks and attacking other government-owned buildings. Palm Island resident Nicky Bull said the situation was worse than during this year's Redfern riots in Sydney. "The atmosphere is just anger amongst the residents here but it's very, very freaky here at the moment because a lot of those people are not used to seeing our people like this," she told ABC radio.

More than 100 police reinforcements were being flown from nearby Townsville, as well as Cairns and Brisbane while Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson called for calm. Government and other workers locked themselves away from danger in the island's hospital, while others fled in fear for their lives. Simmering tension erupted into violence with the release of the results of the post-mortem examination of Mr Doomadgee, 36, who died in police custody last Friday. He was found to have four broken ribs and died from a ruptured liver. Mr Atkinson said Mr Doomadgee's injuries resulted from a scuffle with police when he was being taken from a prison van. "There was a scuffle and the police officer and the person who has died then fell to the ground on some concrete steps,"he said. "And it is my understanding that the injuries sustained by the deceased person were entirely consistent with that version of events. "Now, having said that there still needs to be an inquiry of course and there will be a Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) investigation, a report to the coroner and a coronial inquest." Mr Beattie said he was shocked at the damage on Palm Island and he appealed for calm.

"We're appealing for people to lead. We are prepared to work with the community but the leaders of Palm Island have got to take charge and act responsibly to restore some order," Mr Beattie said. Mr Atkinson was flying to Townsville to assess what Mr Beattie described as a very serious situation. Townsville-based freelance cameraman Steve Hume, who was caught up in the riot, said the violence erupted within minutes of a public meeting about Mr Doomadgee's autopsy results. He said the scene quickly degenerated into a "war zone" when community leaders revealed the results of the post-mortem examination.

"I have never been that frightened in my life," Mr Hume said. "We looked behind us and they started running towards the police station, a couple of hundred of them. "It just got out of control, they started throwing stones ... one man had a huge shifting spanner and smashed the grilles out the front of the police station. "It just escalated so fast. In less than five minutes they went from calm to absolutely ballistic, I've never seen anything like it." Mr Hume said he and other journalists feared for their lives, running away and locking themselves in the council chambers. "They threatened to kill us. We've just done the bolt, we went to the council chambers and locked ourselves in there." Mr Hume said several media and CMC officials, who were in the council chambers at the time, later boarded an aircraft to fly to Townsville.

"We did laps of the island so we could get some shots, and we could see at least two buildings on fire, a police station and one of the barracks, the police station was very well involved." Mr Hume said the angry mob threatened to "booby-trap" the airstrip with vehicles which had been set on fire. Children were spotted filling up water bottles with petrol, he said. But Mr Atkinson said he understood police had control of the airstrip and the island's hospital. Palm Island has had a troubled history, earning the dubious title of the most violent place on Earth outside a combat zone in the 1998 Guinness Book of Records.

[  smh.com.au

Eritrean jail deaths 'overblown'

Eritrea has denied reports that 20 people were killed in unrest at a prison holding alleged draft dodgers.

Information Minister Ali Abdu told Reuters news agency the claims were false and were part of a "smear campaign" by former enemy Ethiopia.But he later told AFP news agency the number of deaths had been exaggerated. A website run by Eritreans abroad said violence broke out at the prison after it became overcrowded with people suspected of avoiding military service.Military service is compulsory; 10% of the country is said to be in the army.The website asmarino.com said security forces in the capital Asmara had arrested many young people suspected of dodging military service.They had been taken to a detention centre at Adi Abieto outside the city, the website added.

The jail was so full that a major wall collapsed, killing and injuring several people, the report went on. "Shooting started and soon after there was utter chaos. Unconfirmed reports say the guards started shooting, killing over 20 detainees and wounding over 100," the website added.

Tensions high

Ali Abdu said of the report: "It is not only false, it is a smear campaign. There was no incident. It is totally baseless. These [allegations are made by] agents of the Ethiopian regime".He said security forces had been carrying out what he called routine monitoring measures to identify lawless elements.But he denied draft dodgers were being targeted."There are normal security procedures. The law is applied for all, to find the few lawless... We have these routine operations for the national interest," he told Reuters.

However, he later changed his story, telling AFP news agency by telephone: "I can't say there were no incidents, but to say that some 20 people had died is totally exaggerated."Every Eritrean man is expected to serve for 18 months, says the BBC's Jonah Fisher, a former correspondent in Asmara.But regional instability and war has meant many serve more than seven years - on less than $25 a month.Eritrea is currently experiencing acute economic difficulties and is politically isolated on the Horn of Africa, our correspondent adds.

Borders are closed, and tensions are high with both its much larger neighbours Ethiopia and Sudan.

[  news.bbc.co.uk

Jacobabad jail clash leaves 30 inmates, 20 policemen injured

JACOBABAD, October 30 (Online): As many as 30 prisoners and 20 police personnel were critically injured as clashes broke out between two groups of prisoners in district Jail Jacobabad here on Friday.

The group of Maula Bux Buledi and Piaru Jakhrani had been trying to maintain their hegemony within the jail premises in the absence of any strict control of jail authorities. The scuffle erupted when the former group snatched the belongings of the latter but the jail authorities did not interfere to nip the evil in the bud and calm the situation.

Inmates of Piaru Jakhrani group took the jail control and the authorities had to call the police personnel to control the mayhem but the infuriated prisonerss started pelting on the policemen which left policemen Nadir Kulachi, Yar Muhammad Lashari, Khalil Ahmad, Nizam Queraishi, Nawab Ali Jatoi, Abdul Ghafoor Abroo, Ghous Bux Abroo, Noor Muhammad Soomro and others injured.

The police resorted to use tear gas and started baton-charge to control the enraged mob of prisoners that left the Jakhrani group chief prisoner, Piaro Jakhrani and scores other severely injured, however five of the prisoners were stated to be in a precarious condition.

It merits mentioning that the injured prisoners were not provided any medical aid while the wounded police officials were rushed to a local hospital.District jail superintendent Ashiq Buzdar, while giving the details of the incident said that the two Jakhrani and Buledi groups were imprisoned in a single barrack, which clashed on Friday on a trivial matter.He said that cases against 25 prisoners had been lodged for creating law and order situations in the jail.

[  paktribune.com

JACOBABAD: Jacobabad jail clashes leave 61 injured

Sixty-one people - 20 constables and 41 jail inmates - were injured in clashes between two groups of prisoners and between police in the district jail of Jacobabad on Friday........

[  www.dawn.com

Prison riot followed increase in inmates

Lee County center took in 400 prisoners from Vermont and cut back on privileges

By Deborah Yetter and Mark Pitsch
The Courier-Journal

The inmate riot Tuesday at a private Eastern Kentucky prison followed a dramatic increase in inmates and cutbacks in privileges such as free time outdoors, prison officials said. It also came after allegations of inmate abuse and mistreatment increased and visits from friends and family were cut back, an inmate advocate said. The Lee Adjustment Center near Beattyville took in 400 new prisoners from Vermont about four months ago, raising the population to about 800 men, officials said yesterday.

Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the prison for the Kentucky Corrections Department, does not believe those factors explain the riot in which inmates set two buildings on fire, spokeswoman Louise Chickering said yesterday. "There is no justification for the destruction those inmates did," she said. But advocates for inmates and others familiar with the prison industry said crowding, cuts in privileges and an influx of inmates far from home created an explosive situation there. "Usually when there's a prison riot it occurs after months or years of intolerable conditions," said Barry Kade, a Vermont lawyer and a member of the Alliance for Prison Justice, an advocacy group which works to improve conditions for Vermont inmates.

Kade and others said private prison companies are profit driven to increase inmate populations. Nashville-based Corrections Corporation, the country's largest private prison company, gets a daily rate of $38.44 for each Kentucky inmate it houses at the Beattyville prison and $42.50 per inmate from Vermont. Kade said he has received an increasing number of complaints from Vermont inmates since they were sent to Kentucky this year to relieve prison crowding in their home state. Of the nine inmates who officials said started the fires, five were from Kentucky and four from Vermont. The increasingly common practice of states sending inmates to private prisons in other states has exacerbated problems, said some outside observers.

"It's very clear that shipping prisoners far from their families is not good criminal justice policy,"said Peter Wagner, assistant director of Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit policy and research group in Massachusetts. Ray Flum, director of inmate classification for the Vermont Department of Corrections, said the state has been sending prisoners to publicly run prisons out of state for a number of years. But its contract with Corrections Corporation is its first with a private corporation. "Are we surprised that something like this happened and we're involved in it? Yes we are,"Flum said. "In the six or seven years we've been doing business like this out of state it's the first time this has happened." Corrections Corporation also experienced riots in July at prisons it runs in Colorado and Mississippi — both of which house out-of-state inmates. The company, which operates three private prisons in Kentucky, also had a nine-hour riot in 2001 by inmates at its Otter Creek Correctional Complex in Floyd County, which housed Indiana inmates.

Chickering said the company doesn't believe adding prisoners from another state was the cause of the uprisings. "We have had out-of-state inmates at numerous facilities for many years without incident," she said. But others say a concentration of inmates hundreds of miles from friends and family can lead to problems at prisons."I think this latest uprising fits into this general pattern of unhappiness by prisoners who have been transported out of state," said Paul Wright, editor of Prison Legal News, a Vermont-based magazine about the prison industry.Vermont inmates at Beattyville complained to Kade that visits from friends and family — who must drive about 1,000 miles to Kentucky — were cut to two hours a week. Free time on the yard was cut and some inmates alleged they were mistreated through physical abuse or by being put into isolation without having committed any violation, he said.

Chickering said free time was restricted as a security measure around the time the Vermont inmates arrived at the prison."We think it makes sense as a management philosophy," she said. Chickering said prisoners had adequate space at the facility originally built to house 500 inmates. Before taking in additional inmates from Vermont, the company built a 256-bed unit and added 60 bunks in existing dormitories at the prison, bringing the capacity to 816. At the time of Tuesday night's riot, the prison held 803 inmates.

Kentucky Corrections Commissioner John Rees — a former Corrections Corporation official — said yesterday that the facility was not crowded."That just hasn't been an issue," he said.Chickering said staff increased from 165 to 211 after the population increased by 300 inmates. The facility made room for the Vermont inmates by sending some Kentucky inmates to other facilities, Kentucky corrections officials said.

Wright, the editor of Prison Legal News, said it's hard to say whether that amount of staff is adequate because it depends on the layout of the prison and the level of security needed. However, he said his magazine has long been critical of the private industry because it saves money by skimping on staff. That, coupled with boosting inmate population, adds up to profits, he said. Chickering said Corrections Corporation operates quality prisons, provides adequate staff and is proud of its accreditation by the American Corrections Association. Kentucky, Vermont and Corrections Corporation have all said they plan to investigate Tuesday's riot. Kade said he will ask for an outside investigation.

[  courier-journal.com

Inmates Riot Over Housing Assignments

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Inmates seized control of part of the Olmsted County jail for nearly seven hours Sunday after they were told they'd have to double up in their cells.

The prisoners went scurrying back to their cells and offered no resistance when a SWAT team stormed the unit around 4:15 p.m. Nobody was injured or taken hostage, but inmates broke tables, smashed vending machines and damaged an electronic door in the common area they shared. The trouble started about 9:30 a.m. when 72 inmates were told they would have to be double-bunked because of a housing shortage. The prisoners were told to return to their cells so that jail staff could complete the move. About half of the inmates complied, but others objected and started causing trouble.

Three staffers were on duty at the time—one more than usual. Investigators will watch videotapes of the incident to determine who was involved, and those inmates will face criminal charges, he said. The sheriff said there was a housing shortage because the jail had taken in several inmates from neighboring counties. He said those prisoners started the trouble, then others from Olmsted County joined in. Operations in other sections of the jail were not affected.

[  thebackup.com

Sargodha jail victim did not die of police torture: Navani

HYDERABAD TOWN, September 04 (Online): Following the riots in Sargodha prison in the backdrop of alleged custodial death of a 70 year old man on Thursday a case has been registered against the Superintendent of jail and all staffers of prison have been suspended.Whereas Provincial Minister for Prisons Saeed Akbar Khan Navani said that Ashraf Ali did not die of police torture.Cantonment Police Sargodha on Friday registered a case and started judicial inquiry on a complaint registered by the widow of the deceased Mohammad Ashraf Ali who was under judicial custody and was allegedly killed by police personnel.

However, Provincial Minister for Prisons Saeed Akbar Khan Navani refuted the reports that Ashraf Ali died due to police torture.Talking to Online during his visit of Sargodha jail he said that Punjab Chief Minister directed him to visit the city and report him about the situation of the crisis. District Nazim Amjad Noon, DIG Prisons Abdul Sattar Ijaz, DIG Nasir Warraich and other officials of local police accompanied him.On Thursday when prisoners serving their term in Sargodha jail learnt that one of the detainee died during inquiry went out of their minds and riots erupted in the jail. Police also opened fire to control the riots.

Provincial Minister was of the view that of Mohammad Ashraf Ali did not die of police torture but his death was sudden when police called him for an inquiry for keeping Rs 500 in his pocket during his imprisonment. "Despite heavy security how could a prisoner get money in the prison, all employees who are incharge for checking prisoners before their entry in the jail will be investigated and if some one is found guilty of breach in rules then he will be suspended. When Ashraf Ali along with another prisoner was called for investigation he suddenly died," he added.

In the meantime six members of Sargodha Jail Police including Assistant Superintendent were suspended over charges of negligence from their duty.On the other hand the female and juvenile prisoners of Sargodha jail have been shifted to other prisons, while plans of shifting other detainees to other jails is also in the offing because the dilapidated picture of the jail resultant of last days riots has forced the authorities to take this step, as many barracks and their doors were broken and are not feasible for confinement of these prisoners.

[  paktribune.com

Riots in Sargodha jail over prisoner’s Death

SARGODHA: Riots broke out in Sargodha jail when an inmate was allegedly tortured to death by the jail authorities here Thursday.Muhammad Ashraf, an under trial prisoner was in judicial custody at Sargodah jail where he was allegedly killed by the jail authorities, sources said.The unrest started when police tried to take away Ashraf’s body for autopsy under the orders of the Sessions Judge, police said.The under trial prisoners who were possessing arms and ammunition started firing on the police. The prisoners taken at least four of jail staff members inside the jail mosque, police said.

"Four jail staff members were took hostage in a mosque and the proctors are making inflammatory speeches using mosque loudspeaker," a police official told inp.Firing from both sides continued till late at night as the jail authorities called more police contingent and elite force for help.The road leading to the jail and soundings were encircled and blocked by the police to control any possible prisoners escape.Police also used tear gas to control the situation. The District Police Chief and other high officials also reached there for keeping watch on the situation.

The situation was out of control till filing of this report.

[  pakistantimes.net

El Salvador jail riot leaves 23 dead

Rival prisoners fought each other with knives and sticks yesterday at a San Salvador jail, leaving at least 23 people dead and more than 24 others injured, police said. The riot began before dawn when gang members clashed with other prisoners, Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Gonzalez said. More than 3,000 prisoners are being held at the facility, which was designed to jail 800 people. "We believe there could be more dead and injured, but we still need to control the third section of the prison," Gonzalez said. No prisoners had escaped during the riot, which began as a battle between rival prisoners, he said.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions during the riot, but officials could not confirm the source of the noise. "Many of the injuries are serious," emergency official Daniel Chavez said. "The last" person "we took out was already dying." Central American nations have struggled to make their prisons safer even as officials crack down on violent gangs and crowd jails with more prisoners.

[  showmenews.com

Death toll of Salvadoran jail riot rises to 30

A riot taking place Wednesday at La Esperanza Jail, in Mariona, in the outskirts of El Salvador,left a toll of 30 dead and 28 injured, with six grenades exploding. .......

[  english.people.com.cn

Jail riot leaves 31 dead

Prisoners clashed with knives, sticks and rocks today at a San Salvador jail, leaving at least 31 dead and more than two dozen injured, police said. The riot began before dawn when a group of jailed gang members clashed with other prisoners, deputy police commissioner Pedro Gonzalez said. More than 3,000 prisoners were being held at the facility, which was designed to jail 800 people.

Prison director Rodolfo Garay said 30 prisoners died at the scene, and one was pronounced dead at a hospital. Special forces swarmed the facility while ambulances, their sirens blaring, raced in and out, attending to the injured. Police finally regained control of the prison late this afternoon, after hours of chaos.

Gonzalez said no prisoners had escaped, and that the riot began as a battle between rival prisoners. Witnesses reported hearing explosions, but officials could not confirm the source of the noise. "Many of the injuries are serious," emergency official Daniel Chavez said. "The last (person) we took out was already dying."

An Associated Press reporter allowed into the jail shortly after the riot began said emergency officials were trying to separate the wounded from the dead. In May, a fire at a prison in northern Honduras killed 106 people. Officials said the fire was caused by an air conditioner short-circuit that ignited bedding and curtains and spread quickly through the prison. Survivors say the inferno was set deliberately and targeted jailed gang members. On April 5, 2003, an uprising in Honduras' El Porvenir prison farm, 350km north of the capital, left nearly 70 people dead. A government report blamed guards for many of the deaths.

Some prisoners were locked in their cells, doused with petrol and set on fire.

[  theage.com.au

1 hurt in jail riot
By Jay Dooma Balnig

THE riot staged by the inmates of the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center's (IRC) Saturday morning left one inmate hurt. However, this did not deter jail warden Juan Mabugat from sending off mayor de mayores Roy Donesa to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. Apparently to teach the rebel inmates a lesson, Mabugat decided to transport Donesa and his wife, Louella, along with 18 other inmates Monday, a week earlier than the original August 23 schedule. At around 9 a.m. Saturday, Mabugat asked Donesa to join him in his office but the inmate refused. He turned his back on the warden and shouted at his fellow inmates, "Mabato ta! (Let's throw stones at them!)."

Upon Donesa's call, some 60 inmates closely identified to him, started hurling stones and bottles at the more than 80 prison guards scattered around the perimeter of the IRC. Mabugat and his men sought cover but guards fired the inmates. The gunfire lasted for almost one hour, according to employees of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, which is adjacent to the jail. Regie Labiano of Barangay Malayu-an, Ajuy, one of the inmates who shielded Matabuena, was hit on his left thigh by a 9mm's bullet.

Though wounded, the inmates refused to surrender Labiano. An hour later, police units of the Iloilo City Police Office, including the Iloilo City Mobile Group-Special Weapons and Tactics Team, headed by Senior Supt. Policarpio Segubre responded. Policemen surrounded the jail but the inmates were adamant. After 30 minutes, the injured Labiano came out and he was brought to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao. It was after another half an hour that Donesa surrendered to Mabugat. Along with his wife, he was transferred to a stockade and later, to a searching room. Donesa's new lawyer, Edeljulio Romero, was also seen at outside the IRC. The riot delayed the visits of the wives, children and relatives of some inmates who arrived at the IRC in the morning.

They were only allowed to enter the jail at past 1 p.m. At around 2 p.m., Governor Niel Tupas Sr. arrived with his wife, Myrna, and Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada. Tupas, who remained outside the jail, discussed the incident with Mabugat. Last Friday, the 344 inmates detained in the main building warned to stage a riot if Donesa will be sent to the National Penitentiary. In a manifesto addressed to Tupas, they called for Mabugat's ouster but demanded that Donesa remain at the IRC until his other case is promulgated. The Donesa couple was earlier convicted before the Regional Trial Court Branch 25 for harboring of criminal. Their case for obstruction of justice is now pending with the MTCC Branch 4.

[  www.sunstar.com.ph

Riot Breaks Out In Colorado Prison

A private, medium-security prison, 50 miles east of Pueblo, sustained extensive damage after several hundred inmates rioted and set fires Tuesday evening. The Crowley County Correctional Facility is designed to house 1,152 inmates and is near capacity, with prisoners from Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington.

The disturbance began in the recreational yard of the prison with about 150 inmates and later grew to include several hundred prisoners. Over 100 state corrections officers, the department’s special operations team, and emergency response teams from five state prisons were deployed to the prison after the riot broke out. It was quelled about five hours later.
No guards sustained injuries and 13 inmates were transported from the prison with four needing hospitalization. Officials were investigating whether the riot was gang related, but have no indication of what sparked the incident. One of the prison’s five housing units was destroyed, while the others sustained extensive damage along with a vocational greenhouse.

[  thebackup.com

Armed Men Storm Rio Prison

Some 40 armed members of a drug gang assaulted a Rio prison Monday, blasting away at guards in a jailbreak attempt that left two prisoners dead and four on the lam, authorities said.

According to police, a drug-trafficking outfit from the slum next to the prison orchestrated the attack in an attempt to break out 18 inmates, who were waiting for their accomplices in the penitentiary's courtyard. Around 40 gunmen from the gang that controls the Morro do Zinco neighborhood in northern Rio attacked a police post next to the back wall of the Milton Dias Moreira prison. After expelling the police, gunmen threw ropes over the wall into the prison, while others attacked the guard posts on the sides of the facility. Guards fatally shot two prisoners scaling the wall, but four inmates managed to get away. Twelve prisoners unable to reach the ropes to climb the 10-meter (33-foot) barrier were captured and found to be carrying two firearms and two grenades that had been thrown over the wall by their accomplices. Police had to detonate one of the grenades inside the prison. The shootout lasted for nearly an hour and sparked panic among residents of Morro do Zinco. Mass escapes and riots have become commonplace in Brazil's overcrowded prisons, which house more than 300,000 inmates in facilities built to hold 192,000. Authorities acknowledge that several of the country's penal facilities are controlled by organized crime rings, whose leaders continue to run their drug- and arms-trafficking businesses from behind bars. In June, a turf war between rival drug gangs triggered a grisly massacre in northern Rio's Benfica prison that left 30 dead.

[  globalexchange.org

Jail riots kill up to 80 as gangs rebel

Prisoners are beheaded and burned as violence from warring drug factions spreads. Tom Phillips reports from Rio de Janeiro

A state of emergency has been declared in Rio de Janeiro’s prisons, after a blood bath in one jail triggered a wave of rebellions across the city. Rio’s governor, Rosinha Matheus, made the decision last week after a fortnight of violence in which at least 33 people were killed. The uprisings began on Saturday, May 29, when 14 prisoners escaped from the Benfica prison in Rio’s North Zone. In the confusion, prisoners belonging to Rio’s largest drug faction, the Comando Vermelho (Red Command), took 26 hostages as a protest against being held with members of a rival group. A 62-hour slaughter followed, in which 30 members of the rival gang – the Terceiro Comando (Third Command) – were executed. A 42-year-old prison guard was also killed.

Some of the victims were reportedly beheaded or burnt to death after mock trials. A football match is also said to have broken out with the head of one dead prisoner. "It was horrific," said Marcelo Freixo, co-ordinator of the Prison Community Council, who was allowed into the jail on Thursday. "In the gallery there were still blood stains on the walls and body parts strewn around that had obviously been burned." Freixo, who was involved in negotiations to quell the rebellion, added: "In 13 years working in human rights I have never seen anything like it."

It is thought the Comando Vermelho executioners used shotguns looted from the prison armoury.

"The prisoners had easy access to firearms. Many of those killed were killed with weapons which had been stolen from the prison guards," Freixo said. The official death toll was this week placed at 30, though prisoners’ relatives believe the actual figure could be as high as 80. Many of the prison’s files were destroyed when the jail’s offices were ransacked. There are no other copies.

"The ground floor was totally destroyed, filing cabinets and wardrobes tipped onto the floor," said Freixo.The three-day siege ended when Rio’s governors called in Marcos Pereira da Silva, a well-connected evangelical pastor from the Assembly of God church, whose congregation includes the relatives of some of Rio’s most feared drug lords. Many believe the order actually came from Marcinho VP, an influential drug trafficker, who is currently held in the Bangu I prison.

As the horrors of the Benfica massacre continued to surface last weekend, violence broke out in another three Rio jails. The most serious was in the women’s custody centre in Magé, 60km from Rio de Janeiro, where one woman was killed.On Saturday night police stormed the unit, home to 402 women, to free a guard being held hostage. Police say she was wrapped in a mattress and about to be burnt to death by prisoners. Police initially said they had used rubber bullets in the invasion. However, doctors said this was not the case after they examined the body of one victim who was shot in the head. Geraldo Moreira, president of the human rights commission of Rio’s Assembly, said: “The walls of one of the cells were full of bullet marks. According to the prisoners they [the police] went in shooting.”

Freixo added: "The police operation was a catastrophe."

Prison chief Astério Pereira dos Santos denied this, telling journalists last week: "The police action was what you call legally self-defence of a third party … There was no time to wait for Special Forces." Visits to the two prisons have been temporarily banned. Cristiane Barboso Soares, a friend of one woman held in Magé who witnessed the shooting, said: “All we know is that they’re being punished and aren’t allowed to receive any visitors.

"It doesn’t even bear thinking about, what’s going on in there."

The spotlight fell on Brazil’s prisons in 1992 when 111 inmates died during riots in São Paulo’s Carandiru jail. Only last month 14 convicts were killed in a prison in the Amazon state of Rondônia. Freixo said: "There’s no investment and no public policy. In Rio, as in the rest of Brazil, the best the authorities can hope for is that there are no rebellions or breakouts." In Rio’s jails, problems of corruption, overcrowding and underinvestment are made worse by the presence of warring drug factions.State prison secretary Astério Pereira dos Santos admitted last week: “The prisons here are all potential gunpowder kegs.”

The jails are dominated by two main drug faction: the Comando Vermelho and the Terceiro Comando, which also control Rio’s estimated 600 favelas, or slums. In many of Rio’s prisons the two groups are mixed, a combination that often results in bloodshed. During the rebellion in Benfica a placard was slung from one cell window demanding the transfer of enemy prisoners (often referred to as “alemãos" or Germans). It read: "The Comando Vermelho is pure and Christian. We will not accept mixture in any prison unit." Authorities last week conceded the need to separate such groups. In the notorious prison complex of Bangu I, where prisoners had threatened to revolt, iron walls are to be built separating the gangs. Rio’s authorities have been quick to respond, announcing an investment of R$160 million (£28m) in the ailing prison system, including the construction of six new jails. But many are pointing the finger at governor Rosinha Matheus and prison chief Astério Pereira dos Santos for not anticipating the riots.

One newspaper published a front-page photo of Matheus and her husband, Rio’s security minister Anthony Garotinho, with the names of 19 of the Benfica victims printed on their backs. Marcelo Freixo also believes Rio’s governors were at fault. "It was a tragedy foretold. We visited the prison on May 11 and prepared a report warning that this would happen, but nothing was done," he lamented. The human rights activist says Pereira dos Santos declined to meet with him.The riots have added to a growing sense of insecurity in an increasingly violent Rio de Janeiro. The city’s failure in May to reach the shortlist to host the 2012 Olympic games was widely blamed on poor security. A month before, 13 people were killed when drug traffickers invaded Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha, in the chic South Zone.

At the time newspaper headlines were quick to compare Rio’s drug wars to the war in Iraq. After weeks of violence in the city’s prisons, parallels are being drawn again."We think what’s happening in Abu Ghraib is bad,"said Leonel Kaz, a historian from Rio’s Catholic University. "But the reality is that much worse is going on right under our noses."

[  sundayherald.com

[  Artikel zum selben Thema vom 02.06.2004 in chinadaily.com.cn

Jail riot leaves 2 dead, another hurt
11.05.2004 By Alvin Murcia

TWO inmates were killed when two warring gangs at the Pasay City jail clashed yesterday morning. City jail warden Supt. Rosendo Dial identified the slain prisoners as Roberto Navarro, a member of Sigue-Sigue Sputnik Gang, and Roberto Santos, of Batang City Jail. Randy Ponferola, also a Sigue-Sigue Sputnik member, was also injured in the riot. He sustained a stab wound in the stomach. Dial said the free-for-all between the two feuding gangs took place at about 6:30 a.m. near the quarters of the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik Gang.

Armed with cudgels and improvised bladed weapons, Batang City Jail members led by Santos suddenly attacked Navarro, who was having coffee with his gang mates. Jail guards used tear gas in pacifying the inmates. After the riot, the two victims were found bloodied and lifeless on the ground. Jail officers recovered several improvised deadly weapons from the warring groups. Reports reaching the office of Dial said that drug trade triggered the riot at the city jail.


Rioting Brazil inmates get wishes

A violent five-day prison uprising in Brazil in which nine inmates have been killed appears to have come to an end.

About 170 prison visitors being held in the revolt, which began on Sunday in the Urso Branco prison in the Amazon state of Rondonia, are to be freed. The authorities confirmed that they had accepted most of the demands made by the prisoners to end the stand-off. Inmates were protesting against overcrowding and called for the resignation of the prison directors. They were also demanding the right to use mobile phones. The state security secretary confirmed that the prison governor would be replaced and, as requested, up to 30 inmates would be transferred elsewhere.

Bloody scenes

Negotiations had appeared deadlocked earlier in the day when a security official told AP news agency that the authorities could only agree to 17 of 20 demands made by the prisoners. Police had surrounded the prison and state Governor Ivo Cassol said he would send police in to retake the compound as a "final measure". The rebellion was reportedly sparked by a clash between rival gangs. It will be remembered as one of the bloodier uprisings of recent times, says the BBC's Steve Kingstone in Rio de Janeiro. Inmates began a series of revenge killings in which at least one victim's head was cut off and thrown to the ground from the prison roof. Another man was hacked to death and body parts were thrown out of the prison. At least nine prisoners are known to have died in the fighting.

Three other men may also have been killed according to a group of inmates who clambered over the prison wall on Thursday. As is often the case in Brazil, the revolt was about overcrowding, our correspondent says. Designed to hold 360 people, the prison houses more than 1,000 inmates. State officials say this gruesome sequence of events should act as a warning that the country's penal system needs to be reviewed urgently.

[  news.bbc.co.uk

Occupation imposes Washington-style “democracy” 18,000 Iraqis illegally held in jails and prison camps

.......... Last month, the US Army admitted that six soldiers have been charged with dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and assault and indecent acts with another—the military’s term for sexual abuse—at Abu Ghraib prison. They are among 17 soldiers from the 800th Military Police Brigade, including a battalion commander and a company commander, suspended from duties over incidents that occurred in November and December. A week before Washington announced that the six MPs were being investigated, the US Army recommended that a marine reservist accused of killing an Iraqi prisoner not face charges or any military hearing. A second officer involved in the death is alleged to have punched, karate-kicked and dragged by the throat a prisoner in his custody.

Though the Army has refused to provide any details about the six MPs currently under investigation, it is believed that the incidents occurred some time during or after prisoners began rioting at Abu Ghraib on November 24. Three Iraqi prisoners were killed and eight seriously injured during the riots..............

[  ganzer text - wsws.org

Honduran Prison Riot Leaves 86 Dead

Rival gang members fought and set fire to a prison Saturday in northern Honduras, sparking a riot that ended with 86 prisoners dead, dozens of others injured and an unknown number on the loose, authorities said. The uprising began with a fist fight between gang members and escalated when some set mattresses and furniture ablaze in their cells at the 1,600-inmate El Porvenir prison outside of La Ceiba, a port city 220 miles north of Tegucigalpa, the capital.

Prison spokesman Leonel Sauceda said flames engulfed one of the prison's three wood-and-corrugated metal buildings. Of the 86 people who died, some were burned to death, others suffered smoke inhalation and the rest were killed by inmates wielding weapons.
Jose Canahuati, director of the state-run hospital that was receiving the dead and wounded, said his staff counted 86 bodies. Television images showed hospital employees covering rows of bodies with plastic bags. "There are a lot of young people with bullet and knife wounds, and also with severe burns," Canahuati said as police stood guard outside the hospital. "The operating room is full. The hospital doesn't have room for so many patients, but we are taking care of the sick in the hallways and anywhere else we can."

El Porvenir is a prison farm located close to the Caribbean coast where suspects facing drugs, weapons, rape and assault charges are held while they await trial. Inmates grow beans and other grains, and there is little security. Weapons and drugs are common, and gang members often control cell blocks. The riot began after dozens of members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang jumped inmates loyal to another gang, La 18, in the prison courtyard. After a series of fights, both sides began using homemade knives and pistols to defend themselves, Sauceda said. "Several inmates of the La 18 started the riot with the intention of escaping ... and that started the massacre," he said.
Mara Salvatrucha and La 18 are the largest and most-violent of the 450 Honduran gangs that authorities believe have 100,000 members. Jose Coca Villanueva, an El Porvenir inmate, said a major "territorial battle" sparked the riot. "It was horrible, and all we could hear was the sound of screams of pain and terror. No one knew what was going on," Villanueva said. "Everybody was fighting against everybody."

It took fire fighters, police officers and prison guards more than three hours to control the flames and restore order, and prison authorities were in the process of counting the inmates Saturday to determine how many had escaped, Sauceda said.
Soldiers and police patrolled nearby streets and searched neighboring fields looking for escaped inmates. The prison's directors were suspended while a special commission investigates the case. President Ricardo Maduro said officials would also analyze the rest of the country's prisons and determine what changes needed to be made. He urged court officials to help move people through the justice system faster so that fewer would be waiting for a trial. Honduras' 26 prisons were built to house 5,500 inmates but are crammed with 13,000 prisoners, according to government statistics.

Although prison riots are common in Latin America — where jails are overcrowded and loosely controlled — Saturday's violence is among the worst in recent history. At least 111 inmates died in 1992 when 120 riot troopers stormed a cell block to quell a bloody uprising at Sao Paulo's notorious Carandiru prison complex, Latin America's largest. Unofficial accounts by human rights groups and survivors have placed the death toll at nearly 300.
Saturday's death toll far surpasses one of the more well-known prison riots in Attica, New York, which killed 43 people, including 11 state employees and 32 inmates, in 1971. All but four were shot to death when state police retook the prison, 30 miles east of Buffalo, after a four-day standoff.

[  www.cbsnews.com

Syria arrests hundreds as riots sweep the nation
Regime blames U.S. after American flags spotted in protests

Syrian military troops and police have arrested hundreds of Kurds suspected of being involved in the anti-regime riots in cities throughout Syria over the weekend.

Kurdish sources said Syrian intelligence arrested hundreds of suspected Kurdish separatists in Aleppo and surrounding communities. The unrest was sparked by a soccer riot on Friday in the town of Qamishli near the Turkish border.

Syrian officials have accused the United States of fomenting the Kurdish riots. They said the Kurds, who raised U.S. flags during anti-regime demonstrations, were connected to the U.S.-aligned Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. The unrest was termed as the worst in Syria since the Islamic insurgency against Damascus in the early 1980s. The sources said Syrian troops, backed by main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers, patrolled towns and cities, including Damascus.

On Monday, Kurdish sources reported that Kurdish insurgents killed the son of a Syrian governor in the Aleppo district. They said the insurgents also raided an Aleppo prison and freed an unspecified number of inmates. In the Qamishli area, government buildings and police cars were attacked and in one case, a security police headquarters was torched. At one point, the sources said, Kurdish unrest reached Damascus.

Syrian officials said six Kurds were killed, all of them trampled to death in the soccer match in Qamishli. Kurdish leaders aligned with the government said at least 19 Kurds were shot dead in clashes with Syrian forces. But on Tuesday, the Turkish daily Hurriyet, quoting Kurdish sources, said more than 100 people have been killed in the clashes. Earlier estimates placed the casualty toll at 80.

On Monday, Kurds in the northern Iraqi town of Suleimaniya demonstrated in solidarity with Kurds in nearby Syria. On Monday, Syria acknowledged the extent of the damage from the Kurdish unrest. Syrian authorities released footage of torched cars, damaged buildings and even defaced portraits of the late Syrian President Hafez Assad, father of the current president.
Syrian authorities has closed the border crossing of Nusaybin with Turkey. Kurdish sources said Turkish nationals in Qamishli were attacked during the unrest and their vehicles torched. They said the Turks have returned to Turkey.

[  smh.com.au

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