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Jakarta Post

12 inmates moved after riot at Surakarta prison

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta   /   Fri, January 11, 2019   /   11:40 am
12 inmates moved after riot at Surakarta prison Prison security officials prepare the transfer of 20 inmates of the Surakarta penitentiary to Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, on June 23, 2016. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

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 named Ikhsan, a member of a mass organization convicted for owning bladed weapons. Prison officials said Ikhsan had been involved in a dispute with other inmates over playing cards.

While they were leaving the prison, the visitors shouted out "Allahu Akbar" in an apparent taunt at the inmates Ikhsan had a dispute with in Block C1, who responded by making animal-like noises.

The visitors then told other members of the mass organization that Ikhsan had been insulted by his fellow inmates, which prompted hundreds of people to gather at 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 until the crowds eventually dispersed.

"As of this afternoon, the atmosphere is calm and conducive. The incident was just because of a misunderstanding between prisoners," Surakarta Class I prison warden Muhammad Ulin Nuha said.

"To prevent further tensions, we evacuated and moved the inmates who were involved in the riot to Sragen and Kedung Pane Semarang," he continued. "In total, we moved 12 inmates."

Surakarta Police deputy chief Andi Rifai confirmed that a riot had occurred, adding that the situation had been brought under control.

"Everything has been suppressed, the situation is now normal and conducive," Andi said. "Residents should not panic. Surakarta is safe." (kmt)