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Riots in Central Hama Prison Sparks Fear Over Fate of Inmates

Activists voice concerns for prisoners' safety as inmates stage riots to protest against the return of detainees to the infamous Saidnaya prison
Riots in Central Hama Prison Sparks Fear Over Fate of Inmates

A state of defiance broke out in the central Hama prison on Sunday morning, after inmates rejected the authorities’ orders and the transfer of a number of prisoners to the infamous Saidnaya prison, according to news circulated by Syrian activists.

Mohamed al-Tullab, a member of the Hama News Agency administration, said the reason for the disobedience went back to the prison administration pulling out a number of prisoners who had been previously transferred from Saidnaya. Authorities are now in the process of returning the prisoners to the notorious Saidnaya prison, after they had paid sums of between 1 million and 3 million Syrian pounds ($4,500-13,000) to be transported from Saidnaya to the central Hama prison.

Tullab warned that the Assad regime’s military police had threatened on Monday afternoon to storm the prison after the recent incidents.

The head of the Hama Media Center, Yezin Shahedawi, said that prisoners had resisted regime guards through verbal altercations, and there had been no direct confrontations between the prisoners and the guards so far, according to information received from inside the prison. He added that the prisoners feared the facility would be stormed to remove the inmates against their will.

Shahedawi called on humanitarian groups to enter the central Hama prison immediately to preserve the lives of the prisoners, especially the political prisoners among them. This is the second time in several months that inmates of Hama central prison have carried out a similar act of defiance for the same reason. The regime was forced to back down due to the large media disturbance that accompanied the protest.

Activists have stressed the need to support the prisoners in the media and legally to save them from anonymous courts.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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