Prisoners inside Syria's Hama central prison have captured several government officers, including a high-ranked police officer, a source inside the jail told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

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The head of the prison, a police officer and nine other government forces were captured by the prisoners, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, confirming the incident.

After judge Rida Musa told inmates that 11 of them will be transferred to the capital, Damascus, for the death penalty, fellow prisoners revolted.

Musa arrived in the prison to discuss the shortage of food, water and other basic amenities.

Inmates have previously demanded restoration of electricity and water amid food shortages and serious medical conditions, the Observatory said.


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Hundreds of detainees revolted earlier in May after five inmates were to be taken to the notorious Sednaya prison near Damascus so that death sentences passed by an extra-judicial military tribunal could be carried out.

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Government forces surrounded the prison and fired tear gas during that revolt in an effort to quell the unrest, according to the Observatory.

International and Syrian human rights organisations have decried conditions inside Syrian prisons before and during the war.

Between March 2011 and the end of 2015, the Syrian Network for Human Rights documented the arrest and detention of more than 117,000 people.

More than 60,000 people have been killed through torture or have died in dire humanitarian conditions inside regime prisons throughout the country's five-year uprising, according to a report by the Observatory.

In a December 2015 report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said its researchers had found "evidence of widespread torture, starvation, beatings, and disease" in government jails and detention centres.

Source: Al Jazeera