Riot In Colombia Prison Leaves 23 Dead – Government

Inmates extend their hands at the Modelo prison in Bogota after a riot on March 22, 2020. – A riot in a prison in the Colombian capital has left 23 inmates dead and 90 wounded, Justice Minister Margarita Cabello announced Sunday. The riot was triggered by an attempted mass breakout overnight from La Modelo prison. DANIEL MUNOZ / AFP.

 

Rioting that swept through a crowded prison overnight in the Colombian capital Bogota left 23 inmates dead and 90 wounded, Justice Minister Margarita Cabello announced Sunday.

The riot was triggered by an attempted mass breakout from La Modelo prison, Cabello said, as the capital was on a weekend lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

Riots occurred “in several penitentiary centers in the country,” Cabello said in a statement. “The result of the attempted escape in the Modelo was 23 inmates dead.”

La Modelo is Bogota’s second largest prison after La Picota, where protests also erupted on Saturday night.

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According to Cabello, 83 inmates and seven guards were injured in the disturbances inside La Modelo. Around half the injured prisoners were hospitalized, and two of the guards were in “critical condition.”

“There were no escapes,” she added.

The head of Colombia’s prison authorities, General Norberto Mujica, said his forces had taken back full control of the prison.

“Our guards prevented the escape from being carried out. We achieved that today and as a result are not looking for 5,000 prisoners that would have escaped.”

The government rejected accusations that the riots were sparked by unsanitary conditions inside a prison system unprepared to face the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no health problem that would have caused the escape plan and these riots,” Cabello said.

“Today there is not a single infection, and no prisoners, nor administration or custodial officials, that have the coronavirus.”

AFP

Brazil Recaptures Inmates Who Escaped In COVID-19 Riot

Military police officers are seen at the main entrance of the Doctor Edgar Magalhaes Noronha (Pemano) Penitentiary during a riot on early March 17, 2020, in Tremembe, 155 km from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Lucas LACAZ / AFP

 

Brazilian authorities said Tuesday they had recaptured 586 inmates who escaped from their minimum-security prisons after their right to leave on temporary furloughs was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But they estimated that 789 others remained on the run, after a series of riots Monday in four prisons in Sao Paulo state.

The riots broke out when authorities announced they were suspending the inmates’ right to leave for up to five week-long home visits per year.

They said they feared the returning prisoners would bring “heightened risk of spreading the new coronavirus among a vulnerable population” — their fellow inmates.

But that caused hundreds of prisoners to rebel against their guards, set fires and escape.

In all, at least 1,375 inmates fled, though authorities are still completing the count, the state penitentiary administration said.

The escapees were being held in “semi-open prisons,” which allow inmates to leave during the day for work and make extended home visits periodically.

The recaptured inmates “will lose the right to benefit from the semi-open system,” state prisons official Nivaldo Cesar Restivo told TV network Globo.

“They will now serve their sentences in normal prisons.”

Brazil has also suspended visits in its five federal maximum-security prisons over the coronavirus pandemic.

The country confirmed its first coronavirus-linked death on Tuesday.

AFP

India: Tensions High In Delhi After Riots, Death Toll Rises To 38

Residents look at burnt-out vehicles following sectarian riots over India's new citizenship law, at Shiv Vihar area in New Delhi on February 28, 2020. Xavier GALIANA / AFP
Residents look at burnt-out vehicles following sectarian riots over India’s new citizenship law, at Shiv Vihar area in New Delhi on February 28, 2020. Xavier GALIANA / AFP

 

Tensions remained high in India’s capital Thursday, as thousands of riot police and paramilitaries patrolled streets littered with the debris from days of sectarian riots that have killed 38 people.

An uneasy calm has descended over the affected northeast fringes of the Indian capital, punctuated by sporadic outbreaks of violence overnight.

The unrest was the latest bout of violence over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s citizenship law, which triggered months of demonstrations that turned deadly in December.

Sunil Kumar, director of the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, said Thursday it had registered 34 deaths, adding that “all of them had gunshot injuries”.

The chief doctor at Lok Nayak Hospital said three people had died there. Another victim died at Jag Parvesh Chander Hospital, an official said.

Kishore Singh, medical superintendent at Lok Nayak Hospital, told AFP 10 people were still in a serious condition.

Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said families of those who died, were injured or had their businesses and homes destroyed during the rampage would be compensated.

Food and other support would also be provided to trashed neighbourhoods, he added.

Police said they had detained or arrested more than 500 suspects for questioning, and had also starting holding “peace committee meetings” across the megacity to “improve inter-community harmony”.

The new fatalities — up from 27 on Wednesday — were all from the violence on Monday and Tuesday when mobs of Hindus and Muslims fought running battles, except for one from Wednesday.

The initial violence erupted late Sunday.

Groups armed with swords and guns set fire to thousands of properties and vehicles.

Homes, shops, two mosques, two schools, a tyre market and a fuel station were torched.

More than 200 people were also injured.

According to a list from the GTB hospital seen by AFP, the victims are a roughly even mix of Hindus and Muslims, based on their names.

Delhi police spokesman Mandeep Randhawa told AFP that there was “no major incident” overnight, while the city’s chief fire officer Atul Garg said they received 19 distress calls.

‘Gun down traitors’

In December at least 30 people were killed, mostly in police action in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, home to a significant Muslim population, after the citizenship law was passed.

Many of India’s 200 million Muslims fear the citizenship law — combined with a mooted citizens’ register — will leave them stateless or even sent to detention camps.

They and critics see Modi’s right-wing ruling party, which is linked to once-banned militaristic Hindu group RSS, as wanting to turn officially secular India into a Hindu nation.

His party has denied the allegations but in recent weeks BJP politicians, including in an ugly recent campaign for Delhi elections, have called the demonstrators “anti-nationals” and “jihadists”.

One, Parvesh Verma, said protestors “could enter houses and rape and kill your sisters”, while another, Anurag Thakur, encouraged a crowd to chant “gun down traitors”.

A call on Sunday by another BJP politician, Kapil Mishra, for “Hindus” to clear a northeastern Delhi sit-in protest is being seen as the spark for the current unrest.

On Wednesday a Delhi High Court judge, Justice S. Muralidhar, sharply criticised the police and called on them to investigate BJP politicians for inciting violence.

Muralidhar was transferred to another state court in a late-night order, prompting a social media storm. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad insisted it was a “routine transfer”.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on India’s political leaders to “prevent violence”, while the Organisation of the Islamic Conference said it “condemns the recent and alarming violence against Muslims in India”.

On Wednesday the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises Washington but does not set policy, voiced “grave concern” about the violence as President Donald Trump was visiting.

Trump, asked at a news conference in the capital about the violence, said the issue was “up to India” and praised Modi’s “incredible” statements on religious freedom.

 

AFP

Twelve Arrested In Riots Over Police Killing Of French Youth

CRS anti-riot poilice officers stand by as firefighters work to put out a fire in a building in the Dervallieres neighborhood of Nantes early on July 4, 2018. Groups of young people clashed with police in the western French city of Nantes on the night of July 3 after a man was shot dead by an officer during a police check. Cars were burned and a shopping centre partly set alight in the Breil neighbourhood as police confronted young people, some armed with molotov cocktails.

 

Twelve people were arrested after a second night of rioting in the western city of Nantes triggered by the deadly shooting of a young man during a stop-and-search operation by police.

The killing of the 22-year-old, identified by local media as Aboubakar F., risks inflaming simmering tensions in deprived urban areas in France where residents frequently complain of police brutality.

Rioters set fire to several dozen cars for a second night running Wednesday and fought pitched battles with the police in the low-income district of Breil where Tuesday’s shooting took place and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Several public buildings, including a police station, were damaged and a dozen shops were torched, despite calls by the victim’s family for calm.

Eleven people were arrested in Breil and one person was arrested in the Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse where Aboubakar F. grew up.

The victim was under surveillance as part of a drug-trafficking investigation when he was stopped by police while driving at around 8.30 pm.

The police said he was not carrying ID and that they attempted to arrest him.

Nantes prosecutor Pierre Sennes said that the driver then “apparently tried to escape the search by quickly reversing.”

Police sources said he reversed into one of the officers, prompting his partner to open fire — but a witness said the car was at a halt when the driver was hit in the neck by a single bullet.

A police oversight body is investigating the killing.

The driver had been wanted by police in Creteil, near Paris, for robbery and other offences.

On a visit to Nantes on Thursday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe condemned the riots and promised “the fullest transparency” about the circumstance’s of the man’s death.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Wednesday “all the necessary resources” were being deployed to calm the situation.

– Contradictory accounts –

A woman who filmed the incident, who wished to remain anonymous, said “there were no police behind the car, he didn’t hit anyone. There was only the one gunshot.”

French police have a long history of strained relations with youths in poor suburbs with large immigration populations, while officers frequently complain about being targeted.

In January, the government vowed a crackdown on urban violence after a shocking video emerged of a policewoman being beaten by a crowd in the Paris suburbs on New Year’s Eve.

A parliamentary report released Tuesday showed high suicide rates within the police and warned about widespread low morale in the force.

In 2005, two teenagers of African origin were electrocuted while hiding from officers in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, sparking nationwide riots.

Anger over heavy-handed policing bubbled over again last year when a young black man in another Paris suburb suffered severe anal injuries during his arrest which were caused by a truncheon.

Breil, the Nantes neighbourhood where Tuesday’s shooting occurred, is a socially mixed district home to a large housing estate with a history of gang violence.

Egypt Braced For Renewed Protests

Poster of President Morsi lies on ground in Cairo. 15 Aug 2013The Egyptian capital, Cairo is poised for renewed protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mursi. They are expected to take place two days after authorities broke up Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo with the loss of at least 638 lives.

Mr Morsi’s supporters plan to converge on central Ramses Square from city mosques after Friday prayers. A state of emergency is in force and police have been authorised to use live ammunition in self-defence.

The Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to gather in mosques for Friday prayers and then take to the streets of Cairo in a “march of anger”.The group’s leaders say they will hold marches under the slogan “the people want to topple the coup”.

Security in the capital is tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets. Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi – the National Salvation Front and Tamarod – are reported to have called for counter-demonstrations in response.

Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army’s overthrow of Mr Morsi last month.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an NGO, says 25 churches, along with private homes and businesses belonging to Copts and other Christian denominations, were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.

Alexandria, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, appears largely quiet. The authorities in Egypt’s second city have cleared piles of sandbags, barricades and a tent camp set up by Mr Morsi’s followers and sympathizers in the past few weeks outside the main pro-Morsi rallying point, Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque.

Many shops and malls remain closed despite the end of the nightly 12-hour curfew imposed here and in 13 more cities. At night, the city’s streets look virtually empty as the authorities have further applied emergency laws and authorised the use of live ammunition if vital security and military posts come under attack.

Unlike other curfews in the past two and a half years, there is no defiance from the general public. However, vigilante groups have been formed in several neighbourhoods to protect private property including houses and cars.

The city has been at the heart of the political turmoil gripping the country since the removal of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

There are fears of renewed bloodshed after authorities said the police were authorised to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.

Reports say there were renewed attacks on security forces on Thursday, with at least seven soldiers and a policeman killed in the Sinai peninsula and another police officer killed in the central city of Assuit.

US Republican Senator John McCain said Newsnight that the ousting of President Morsi was a “coup” and President Obama should have cut off aid to Egypt as a result.

Kaduna: 24-hour curfew imposed as violent riots breakout

The Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa on Sunday imposed a 24 hour curfew in the state following earlier bomb blasts and retaliatory violent protest in parts of the state.

“The government has approved a 24-hour curfew with immediate effect in the state due to a breakdown of law and order,” Reuben Buhari, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State governor said.

Explosions at three churches in Kaduna state killed over 20 people on Sunday, leading furious Christian youths to drag Muslims out of their cars and kill them in retaliation.

Two explosions rocked churches in the town of Zaria within minutes of each other. First, a suicide bomber drove a blue Honda civic into a church, burning the front entrance and damaging the building.

Then, militants threw bombs at another church, killing four children who were playing on the streets outside, said resident Deborah Osagie, who lives opposite the church. She added that the militants were later caught by a mob and killed.

A blast hit a third church in the state’s main city of Kaduna, causing an unknown number of casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency said.

After the bombs, angry youths blocked the highway leading south out of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, dragging Muslims out of their cars and killing them, witnesses said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but radical group Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of deadly attacks that have claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.

Two more church bombings

Two more church bombings rocked  other parts of Kaduna on Sunday, bringing to five the number of explosions in the northern state, an emergency official said.

“There were two simultaneous bomb attacks on churches in Nassarawa and Barnawa in the south of Kaduna this morning. We are yet to get information on causalities,” Kaduna spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Aliyu Mohammed told a news agency reporter.

Riot breaks out at Bali prison

A prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali was taken over by inmates on Wednesday and was set on fire in a riot during which at least two prisoners were shot and wounded.

Indonesian police stormed the Kerobokan jail to regain control of the situation.

Police shot two inmates in the legs when they were confronted by a mob wielding sickles and throwing bricks.

Fighting at the jail broke out late on Tuesday.

Police said conflict at the prison had first started about a week ago when two inmates had a knife-fight, leading to a split in the wider prison population that developed into a bigger fight between two rival groups.

Australia’s Foreign Ministry said it was urgently checking on the welfare of 12 Australian prisoners held in the jail, but Indonesian police said none of about 60 foreign prisoners were among the casualties.

The prison is home to 1,200 inmates. The Australian prisoners include convicted drug traffickers Schappelle Corby and the so-called Bali Nine.