Fires in cells, detainees on the roofs: in numerous prisons in italy there have been violent protests with several deaths in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
In modena, six prisoners died and several were seriously injured, francesco basentini of the prison administration said on TV on monday. According to the media, 50 prisoners had tried to escape. Prison police union spoke of uprisings at 27 detention centers across the country. The prisoners in modena may have died from an overdose of drugs they may have taken while storming the hospital ward.
Media showed videos of a riot in a prison in milan. Prisoners are seen standing on a roof and chanting "freedom. In the building it burns. In the city of foggia several prisoners are said to have cursed. According to the health department of the region latium there were also riots in the rough roman prison rebibbia.
The protests are also about taking measures against the corona virus, susanna marietti of the antigone organization, which campaigns for the rights of prisoners, told the german press agency. Visits to football grounds as well as sporting and cultural activities have been suspended. "They were left alone. There was no communication about the whole situation. The inmates only have television to inform themselfs." From a detention center in the country in salerno the protests had then continued "like a bomb. People are already in fear because of the virus, "you can imagine what it’s like inside".
Italy is after china the country with the most deaths from the lung disease covid-19. More than 7300 people are infected. Experts assume a rough dark figure. The government has therefore declared the region of lombardy and 14 provinces in northern italy as a restricted zone.
In a message from antigone, it said that in such a crisis, which the country is currently going through because of the covid 19 disease, it is fundamentally important to also explain the situation to prisoners and to enable contacts with their close ones, for example via skype.
Unions and associations have long criticized terrible conditions in often overcrowded prisons in italy. Opposition leader and ex-interior minister matteo salvini of the right-wing lega also referred to it on monday: "it is a ticking time bomb that has now unfortunately exploded with dramatic consequences."