Hundreds of police have been deployed to control an ongoing riot at the Krabi Provincial Prison off the Andaman coast. Around 70 inmates started rioting at around 9pm last night, throwing objects, setting fires, and smashing tiles and plates. Prisoners reportedly threw the riot because an inmate was offered Covid-19 treatment off prison grounds while others infected with the virus had to be treated at the correctional facility.
A group of inmates destroyed one dorm and set fire in different areas. Some inmates grabbed knives and tool supplies from the vocational building. Some prisoners tried to climb the prison’s wall, others tried to break into the female area.
More than 300 prison guards together with volunteer defence corps were called to the correctional facility to suppress the riot. Rubber bullets have been used to suppress violence, and, so far, three inmates were injured by the rubber bullets. Guards have been able to control the fires and move more than 300 female inmates to a temporary prison for safety.
The inmates agreed to talk and asked for 14 Covid-19 patients to get treatment outside. The authorities agreed to contact Krabi Hospital. Reports say they will gradually bring each inmate patient to get treatment with prison guards and police on standby 24 hours a day. As of this morning, reports say the rioters are still protesting. Authorities will have a meeting to find proper ways to control the riot.
The Krabi prison has a population of around 2,000 inmates. Reports say inmates were worried about their treatment as the virus has continued to spread in the prison. For months, the Department of Corrections has reported Covid outbreaks at Thai prisons and detention centres nationwide with a total of more than 80,000 confirmed cases.