Twelve prisoners were moved from a Class I prison in Surakarta, Central Java, on Thursday, following a riot involving visitors and inmates.
The riot began on Thursday morning after 20 people visited an inmate, identified as Ikhsan, a member of a mass organization who had been convicted for possession of an offensive weapon. Prison officials said that Ikhsan had been involved in a dispute with other inmates over a card game.
While they were leaving the prison, the visitors shouted out "Allahu Akbar [God is great]!" in an apparent taunt at the inmates with whom Ikhsan had been in dispute in Block C1, who responded by making animal-like noises.
The visitors then told other members of the mass organization that Ikhsan had been mistreated by his fellow inmates, which caused hundreds of people to rush the prison doors in an attempt to get in. At the same time, a group of inmates went to Block C1 and the two groups of inmates started throwing rocks at each other.
Hundreds of police and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel were deployed to quell the riot and the crowd was eventually dispersed.
"As of this afternoon the atmosphere is calm and conducive. The incident was merely the result of a misunderstanding between prisoners," Surakarta Class I prison warden Muhammad Ulin Nuha said.
"To prevent the heightening of tensions, we removed the inmates who were involved in the riot to Sragen and Kedung Pane Semarang," he continued. "In total we moved 12 inmates."
Deputy Surakarta Police chief Andi Rifai confirmed that a riot occurred but that the situation had been brought under control.
"Everything has been suppressed, the situation is now normal and peaceful," Andi said. "People need not be concerned. Surakarta is safe." (kmt)