Deaths in Russian youth prison riot

Two prisoners and a guard are killed in uprising at detention centre in Ural region.

    Prison buildings were set alight during the
    uprising of detained youths[AP]

    Other prisoners joined the uprising, setting several buildings on fire and breaking windows.
    Eventually about 250 people, nearly half the prison's inmates, took part in the uprising, Petrukhin said.
    Advance planning
    Earlier on Wednesday, the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Yelena Tishchenko, a regional prison service spokeswoman, as saying that one prisoner was killed when a guard fired at inmates trying to break through the fence.
    The uprising lasted for approximately four hours but had been subdued by Wednesday morning.
    Eduard Rossel, governor of the Sverdlovsk region, said riot police had prevented dangerous prisoners from escaping.
    Twenty prisoners escaped during the rioting, but were later tracked down, according to television reports.
    Alexander Savenkov, Russia's deputy justice minister, said the escape attempt had probably been planned in advance since it occurred when women were guarding the compound, Interfax reported.
    An 18-year-old inmate had led the disturbance since he was due to be transferred from the facility for adolescents to another populated by adults.
    Lack of care
    Alison Gill, of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that poor sanitation and overcrowding were problems in Russian prisons.
    "The key problem with youth facilities is lack of access to education opportunities and other rehabilitation opportunities," she said.
    Gill said that there was no regular system of prison inspection in Russia which would limit the ill-treatment of prison inmates.
    "In Russia, there is no ombudsman person for youths who are institutionalised or contained," she said.
    "There is not a good complaints system and there is not a system of random inspections of youth facilities."
    Lev Ponomorev, head of a Russian human rights group, said the conditions in Russian youth detention centres had deteriorated.
    "The situation in these prisons is getting worse and we think this is a national problem," Ponomorev said.
    "There are about 40 prisons in Russia where human rights are abused with impunity... The officials settle every issue with violence."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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