Blaze puts spotlight on overcrowded jails


The death toll from a blaze that tore through a jail has risen to 44, as authorities pledged to look at whether more inmates could receive rehabilitation for drug-related offences to ease chronic overcrowding in the prison system.

Wednesday’s fire at the penitentiary in Tangerang, on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, took place in a prison block housing more than three times the number of prisoners it was designed to contain.

Built for 38 inmates, there were 122 – mostly jailed for drug-related offences – detained at the time of the blaze, which was one of the most deadly in Indonesia in recent years.

The initial death toll was at 41, but three more prisoners who suffered severe burns died overnight in hospital, Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the prison department at the justice ministry, said yesterday.

The ministry said all the victims of the fire, which police suspected may have been caused by an electrical fault, were inmates.

The incident has triggered calls for Indonesia to reconsider its strict narcotics laws, which see a disproportionately high number of inmates imprisoned for drug-related offences, including many who are small-time users.

Visiting the site of the fire, Indonesia’s chief security minister Mahfud MD said out of 200,000 inmates detained across the country, more than half were incarcerated for drug-related crimes. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Tuesday (Nov 30)
Indonesia expands entry ban on foreigners over Omicron variant as Covid-19 cases goes lower in country
1,239 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore on Tuesday (Nov 30); ICU utilisation rate up at 58.5%
Philippines logs 425 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday (Nov 30); DOH out to detect contagious Omicron from travellers
Thai Oct factory output rises 2.91% y/y, better than forecast as Covid-19 cases in country goes below 5,000 on Tuesday (Nov 30)
Vietnam reports 13,972 new Covid-19 cases and 1,238,082 infections in total on Tuesday (Nov 30)
Indonesia: Bali tourism operators at their wits' end as foreign visitors stay away
Filipino artist fears longer struggle as Covid variant stalls tourism pickup
Myanmar to vaccinate 50 per cent of target group by year end
Vietnam sees 15 per cent fewer new enterprises in first 11 months of this year

Others Also Read


Vouchers