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Inside Phuket Prison, where life is peaceful but overcrowded

Prisoners Riot: Four Inmates Die in Bangkok Floods Overcrowding

Friday, November 18, 2011
PHUKET: Four prisoners have been killed in a riot after inmates transferred from a jail threatened by floods fell out with other inmates in their new home-away-from-home.

A full-scale war between 300 convicts transferred from Pathumthani Prison and insiders already being held in the overcrowded Trat provincial jail was prevented yesterday when animosity showed for the first time, Thai media reported.

Today the rival prisoners could not be kept apart when they confronted each other in lines in a yard and opted to fight it out.

About 100 police were sent to the prison with commandos to end the riot, several news outlets confirmed in the Thai language tonight.

But before order could be restored, four men were beaten to death and 12 others seriously injured, reports said. Scores of others suffered minor injuries.

Phuket Prison and other institutions throughout Thailand are chronically overcrowded.

So tightly packed are Thai jails that lawyers acting for British murder suspect Lee Aldhouse, who allegedly stabbed to death former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow on Phuket last year, have argued against his extradition from Britain because of the bad conditions.

An amnesty timed to the 84th birthday of HM The King on December 5 is likely to free many prisoners serving short terms on Phuket and in other provinces, but the prevalence of drugs crimes is likely to quickly restore the overcrowding.

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