The Jakarta Post
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has instructed his ministry to suspend the warden and other officials of a class-III penitentiary in Hinai, Langkat regency, North Sumatra, in the wake of a riot at the correctional facility.
“The incident was triggered by a violent act against several convicts by prison officials related to an investigation of alleged drug trafficking within the penitentiary,” Yasonna said during a press briefing in Langkat on Saturday.
While expressing appreciation for the investigation to foil the drug trafficking, the minister condemned the use of violence in the process.
Around 500 inmates escaped from their cells at the class-III penitentiary during the riot that broke out on Thursday. Around 98 inmates have been recaptured. Overcrowding and understaffing have been cited as the main issues behind the drug trafficking and rioting.
Yasonna claimed his ministry had launched various initiatives to prevent such incidents from occurring at correctional facilities across the country. However, he blamed the prison officials for failing to follow his directives.
“We have told them for a long time. However, [the reforms] won’t work if they don’t change their mind set!” Yasonna said.
Apart from punishing the warden and other officials, the ministry will also punish the alleged provocateurs of Thursday’s riot. The investigation will begin after the situation at the penitentiary has returned to normal. (kuk)