Thailand

Prison riot “under control” after hundreds of inmates lashed out over Covid-19 treatment

Photo courtesy of Krabi Rescue

The prison riot in Krabi is now “under control,” according to a government spokesperson. Dozens of inmates started rioting last night at around 9pm, starting fires and destroying property to demand equal treatment for prisoners infected with Covid-19. Hundreds of officers were deployed to the scene and the director-general of the Department of Corrections even travelled to Krabi to help manage the situation.

The riot continued well into the afternoon and around 300 to 400 inmates joined the riot. Around 20, to possibly 40, of them were leaders. The inmates lashed out after one prisoner was treated for Covid-19 off prison grounds. According to the Bangkok Post, around 300 inmates infected with the coronavirus had to be treated at the correctional facility.

Inmates destroyed property. Some started fires. Others grabbed knives and tools from the vocational building. Some tried to climb the prison fence, but officers shot rubber bullets at them, injuring three of them.

The Krabi governor led negotiators who agreed to take 14 inmates who are seriously ill out of the prison for treatment, according to the Bangkok Post.

While the spokesperson says the riot is “under control,” it doesn’t seem like things are that way. Officers still need to arrest the leaders of the revolt and, as reported on the Thai media outlet Matichon, over 200 police officers are on standby to arrest the leaders of the group and they also prepared tear gas to suppress the situation. Authorities say inmates took highly flammable paint thinner out of the prison warehouse and they are concerned that the inmates might make a firebomb.

The government spokesperson also said actions officers take to control the situation will be implemented carefully, emphasising the safety of residents, inmates, and also officers. He also passed down the message from the prime minister asking every involved department and authority to find the root cause to prevent similar incidents in the future.

SOURCES: Royal Thai Government | Khaosod | Matichon| Bangkok Post

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