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Jakarta Post

Hundreds of inmates escape after riot breaks out in Siak prison

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Sat, May 11, 2019   /   04:04 pm
Hundreds of inmates escape after riot breaks out in Siak prison An illustration photo of a prison cell (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama )

A riot broke out in Siak Sri Indrapura Penitentiary in Riau early on Saturday following a drug raid by the prison authority. Several inmates tried to escape and set fire to the guards’ office.

The police raided the prison on Friday evening and found a female prisoner in possession of crystal methamphetamine. The prison's personnel then coordinated with Siak Police’s narcotics division to raid the entire penitentiary and found three male prisoners consuming the drug.

The three were later interrogated by the police and guarded at their cells. A prison guard reportedly hit one of the inmates, which angered other prisoners.

They damaged the penitentiary that held 648 inmates and set fire to the gurads' office. The guards retreated from the prison when the inmates appeared to be in control. Some reportedly heard gunfire from inside the prison.

Some inmates tried to run away while others surrendered after the fire was extinguished.

The prisoners who surrendered have been moved to the Siak Police headquarters and Tengku Maharatu building, while the police are still searching for the inmates who escaped. Around 110 inmates have been arrested, while an unknown number of others are still at large.

“We’ll check the number [of the prisoners who ran away] later. The officers are trying to negotiate with the other prisoners,” Riau Police Insp. Gen. Widodo Eko said.

Widodo claimed there were no casualties in the incident, but a police officer was hit by a rubber bullet.

“There is a missing gun, but it only contains rubber bullets [because conventional] weapons are prohibited inside the penitentiary,” he said. (foy)