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Italy Prison Riots Over Coronavirus Leave 12 Dead

Smoke billows from a rooftop of the Regina Coeli jail in central Rome on March 9, 2020.  Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP


Italy reported 5 extra deaths Tuesday from jail riots linked to the brand new coronavirus which have now formally claimed 12 lives over three days.

The justice ministry has blamed all of the deaths on drug overdoses that occurred after prisoners broke into medical storage rooms.

The declare was unimaginable to right away confirm by impartial sources.

Jails have been ordered to cease visits and restrict day releases as a part of a broad authorities response to a illness that has killed 631 folks in Italy in simply over two weeks.

Some prisoners have been asking to be granted amnesty over a well being disaster that had contaminated greater than 10,000 folks all through the Mediterranean nation.

The justice ministry stated the state of affairs in all however one of many 23 jails hit by rioting since Sunday has been introduced again underneath management.

“The only ongoing situation is in (the Sicily jail of) Trapani, where a large group of detainees reached the roof, asking — among things — to be immediately tested for coronavirus,” the ministry stated in an announcement.

The ministry stated three of Tuesday’s deaths occurred within the Rieti jail about 70 kilometres (round 40 miles) northeast of Rome.

“Initial findings suggest that the deaths may have been caused by the reckless taking of drugs,” the justice ministry stated.

One other two convicts additionally died within the Modena jail close to the northern metropolis of Bologna. The ministry stated 9 folks have died there in all.

The final two Modena deaths are “suspected to have been caused by reckless drug taking during looting of the infirmatory,” the justice ministry stated.

It stated 4 safety personnel and a well being official who had been taken hostage by rioters in Melfi within the south of Italy had all been launched.

Inmates stage a protest on a rooftop of a wing on the San Vittore jail in Milan on March 9, 2020, in one among Italy’s quarantine pink zones. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Nevertheless it stated 22 convicts who escaped the Foggia jail close to Italy’s southeastern coast have been nonetheless on the run.

 ‘Combustible situation’ 

Italy’s prisoner rights ombudsman Mauro Delma blamed the riots on jail overcrowding and fears in regards to the quickly spreading illness.

“It seems that containment measures recommended for all citizens are not acceptable to prisoners who are already facing prison overcrowding,” Delma informed the RAI Information 24 channel.

“This scenario makes for a combustible situation,” the ombudsman stated.

AFP reporters noticed a dozen convicts on the San Vittore jail in Milan climb onto the roof of one of many wings and shout slogans Monday as police and jail guards under seemed on.

There have been related scenes at a number of different prisons as rioters sporting scarves and bandanas over their faces climbed roofs and shouted slogans to tv information crews hovering in helicopters overhead.

Relations rallied exterior most of the involved jails in protest over the measures.

“The unrest that had occurred (Tuesday) in the prisons of Venice, Palermo, Pagliarelli, Caltanissetta, Chieti and Larino ended,” the ministry stated.

It added that prisoners in a southern city of Foggia have been now not rioting however “still refusing to return to their sections”.


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