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Brazil prison inmates take 100 people hostage in riot

Prisoners at a jail in Brazil's north-eastern coastal city of Aracaju have taken around 100 people hostage and are demanding better conditions for themselves and greater respect for female visitors.

Brazil prison aracaju 2012 04 16Enlarge
The prisoners have demanded speedy trials and new administrators for the jail, and say they will provide local authorities with a list of names of guards they accuse of committing abuses, including torture. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Prisoners armed with knives and three rifles have taken about 100 people hostage during a riot at a jail in north-eastern Brazil.

Some 400 inmates took control of the facility near the coastal city of Aracaju in Sergipe state on Sunday afternoon, demanding better conditions for themselves and greater respect for female visitors, the BBC reports.

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The jail was originally built to hold 2,000 people, but currently houses around 4,000.

The prisoners are demanding speedy trials and new administrators for the jail, and say they will provide local authorities with a list of names of guards they accuse of committing abuses, including torture.

Around 130 people were originally taken hostage but 28 were freed on Monday morning, according to CNN. In exchange, prison authorities restored water and electricity services at the complex.

Three of the hostages are prison guards, police say, while the rest are prisoners’ relatives who were visiting the jail when the riot broke out over the weekend, according to the Agence France Presse.

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More than 150 police officers have been dispatched to the prison to deal with the crisis. A local police official, Captain Marcos Carvalho, told the AFP that authorities had rejected the inmates’ demands and that negotiations were at an impasse.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries so far.  

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/120416/brazil-prison-inmates-take-100-people-hostage-riot