New Caledonia Asks To Transfer Inmates To France

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Call follows riot triggered by protesting prisoners

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 16, 2013) – Unions at New Caledonia’s prison have asked for the most dangerous inmates to be transferred to France.

This comes after a weekend riot at the Camp Est prison which was quelled by 100 police using rubber bullets and tear gas.

The unrest was triggered amid a protest by dozens of inmates against the poor conditions at the jail, with some of them setting fire to the library and wrecking the canteen.

An initial assessment has put the damage at more than US$300,000.

The unions say for security reasons, they want the most violent inmates to be sent to France.

They say in the past six months there has been an increase in the number of attacks on personnel, recording at least 15 such assaults.

Last year, there were two mutinies at the prison which local politicians have described as the worst French-run prison anywhere.

A mission sent by the French justice minister deemed the conditions as unacceptable and Paris announced plans to extend the jail by 2016 but the city of Noumea has refused to issue a building permit.

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