Monday, May 8, 2017

Indonesia: Over 200 inmates recaptured after prison escape, 234 still at large

An Indonesian soldier guards as a plainclothes policeman (C) detains a prisoner who escaped from the Sialang Bungkuk jail in Pekanbaru, on Indonesia's Sumatra island, May 5, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Rony Muharrman via REUTERS

INDONESIAN authorities have confirmed 213 inmates who escaped from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra Island have been recaptured.
According to the Bangkok Post, government officials say the 447 inmates escaped from the Sialang Bungkuk Prison in Pekanbaru on Friday afternoon during a riot caused by bad conditions in the prison.
“So 234 others are still at large,” I Wayan Dusak, the country’s director-general of prisons said.
An Associated Press report states that the prisoners were let out of their cells to perform Friday prayers. They proceeded to break through the prison door and overwhelming the few guards on duty.
Jailbreaks are a common occurrence in Indonesia and there was a series of breakouts in 2013.
Inmates in the Sialang Bungkuk Prison had complained about the way they were treated in the jail and also accused some of the guards of violence towards them.
The male-only prison was able to hold up to 700 inmates but was housing about 1,800 prisoners at the time of the breakout Riau police told Metro TV. Five guards and a porter were on duty at any one time.
Hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to hunt for the prisoners.
According to Al-Jazeera, the over a thousand inmates who did not escape had refused to return to their cells unless the head guard was replaced.
Additional reporting from Reuters.