Police thwart demonstration by Gasabo prison inmates

Inmates from Gasabo Prison, yesterday, staged a demonstration prompting prison guards to call on the Police to intervene.

Inmates from Gasabo Prison, yesterday, staged a demonstration prompting prison guards to call on the Police to intervene.

The inmates threw stones at homes and stores neighbouring the prison facility prompting the police to cordon off the area to avoid any injuries and damages.

 

According to the prisons spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Prisons Hillary Sengabo, some inmates hatched a plan to pressure officials to expedite the replacement of items destroyed by the fire that gutted a section of the prison.

 

Following last Friday’s fire incident, more than 2,000 inmates have received relief items from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDMAR).

 

The demonstration lasted about an hour, with teargas used to restore calm at the facility.

According to Sengabo, by midday, no injuries had been recorded. Inmates were seen clearing the mess caused by the protestors. He added that about 30-50 inmates were involved.

Prison officials thereafter held a meeting with the inmates where they cautioned them against use of illegal means to send their message across.

Sengabo, however, refuted claims that the demonstration was because inmates had not got support after the fire outbreak saying a few inmates took advantage of the situation to cause chaos.

“We have given them relief items after fire destroyed their property, including tents, blankets and clothing,” he said

Officials condemn protest

Kigali city and prisons held a meeting after the protests were halted.

Officials told the media that the next step was to meet residents around the prison, assess the damages caused - such as broken window glasses – and get them fixed.

The Minister for Justice, Johnson Busingye, whose docket oversees correctional facilities, condemned violent protests, saying under no circumstances should inmates riot. “Protesting in places such as these has a negative impact on the entire community,” he said.

Busingye added that any person with a grievance should not use violent means but peaceful channels.

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