Prisoners Riot at Rebeuss Prison in Senegal

Mark Babatunde September 22, 2016
A prison warder walks through an overcrowded prison cell. Photo Credit: Mashable

Inmates at the Rebeuss prison in Dakar, Senegal, rioted Tuesday to protest inhumane treatment by prison authorities.

Rebeuss prison is Senegal’s oldest and largest prison facility. After one prisoner was recently killed in an incident and many more were wounded, the BBC reports, that prisoners participated in a five day hunger strike to protest for better treatment from authorities.

The riot reportedly followed the hunger strike.

The prisoners list of demands includes protesting against cases of detention without trial for lengthy periods, the special treatment of white collar criminals from the corporate sector, overcrowding, and unhealthy food.

One prison lamented, “We are victims of a double standard justice system. On the one hand, we have high-profile convicts who walk out almost immediately; and on the other hand, there are inmates like ourselves. We can’t bear it any more. You only need to pop in here, and you would understand what we are living through.”

In reaction to the riot, prison authorities reportedly fired asphyxiating explosives to disperse the rioting prisoners and break up the protests, with the BBC’s Birahima Toure adding that a prisoner died in the ensuing stampede.

Based on 2014 United Nation figures, Senegal has a prison population of 62 prisoners for every 100,000 persons. The prison system has about 37 holding institutions with a capacity for 7,360 inmates; however, the prisons actually holds an estimated 8,630 inmates.

About 41 percent of the more than 8,000 inmates are detainees awaiting trial or conviction.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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