Sun, Feb 26, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Kerobokan prison under full control: security officials

AFP, DENPASAR, INDONESIA

Indonesian authorities said yesterday they had regained full control of an overcrowded jail housing 60 foreign inmates on the resort island of Bali, after riots erupted this week.

All of the roughly 1,000 inmates at the Kerobokan prison where violence broke out on Tuesday between warring gangs were accounted for, Bambang Krisbanu, a security official at the justice ministry, told reporters.

“We are in control of the prison. The situation has returned to normal. Prisoners are following our orders,” he said. “I can confirm that no prisoner escaped during the riots.”

STANDBY

Police presence at the jail was down to a minimum, with fewer than 10 armed men guarding the entrance, but police were on standby to provide security assistance, Bali police spokesman Hariadi said.

“So far, there hasn’t been any request [for assistance] from the prison staff. It means that staff have been able to manage the situation and the prisoners well,” he added.

The prison houses dozens of foreign inmates, including 12 Australians, and authorities had feared that the prisoners who took over the jail could use them as bargaining chips.

Reporters were allowed into the premises at noon.

They saw about 20 prisoners scrubbing soot off the walls and cleaning up debris under the supervision of prison staff.

‘TRAUMA RECOVERY’

Another 500 prisoners were seen gathered in a hall, playing drums, singing and dancing, as part of what authorities called a “trauma-recovery program.”

Hariadi earlier said that most prisoners had returned to their cells, except for some whose accommodation had been damaged.

Motor and pedestrian traffic resumed on the busy street immediately in front of the notorious prison, with the only sign of this week’s trouble a strip of yellow police tape cordoning off the main gate.

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