The Jakarta Post
A riot has broken out at Donggala Penitentiary in Central Sulawesi after the warden reportedly refused to grant inmates’ request to leave the prison and look for family members affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the region on Friday.
The 342 inmates were reportedly furious and burned the prison after the warden refused to grant their request to leave to search for their family members in disaster-stricken areas.
“At least 100 inmates broke out of the prison,” the prison’s warden, Saifuddin, said at the scene on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
He said 100 members of the mobile brigade from the Central Sulawesi Police had been deployed to handle the situation. A fire truck was also sent to help put the fire out, but it had failed to contain it.
The fire razed most of the prison, making it impossible to hold the remaining inmates that were still on the premises.
A kompas.com photographer, Kristianto Purnomo, shared pictures as the event unfolded on his Instagram account.
Kebakaran di Rumah Tahanan Donggala, Sulawesi Tengah, Minggu (30/9/2018) pasca kerusuhan tahanan. Kerusuhan dipicu permintaan narapidana dan tahanan dibebaskan untuk menemui keluarga yang terkena musibah gempa tidak dipenuhi. Sekitar 100 tahanan dikabarkan melarikan diri. #kebakaran #kerusuhan #rutandonggala #fire #chaos #photogram #photojournalism #kebakaranrutandonggala
Later, two of the inmates that broke out of the prison, Iskandar and Roni, said they had been given permission to leave the prison and look for their families as long as they reported their status to the prison.
“We have to report our status every two days,” Iskandar, one of the inmates, told kompas.com, adding that the prison was also experiencing difficulties in accommodating the inmates after the riot.
Both Iskandar and Roni said that they wanted to look for their family members that resided in the districts of Balaroa and Mamboro in Donggala, which had been heavily affected by the quake. (ris)