World, Middle East

Syrian regime forces open fire on Hama jail inmates

Footage obtained from local activists purportedly shows Assad regime forces firing on inmates at Hama’s main prison facility

07.05.2016
Syrian regime forces open fire on Hama jail inmates

By Halit Suleyman and Ayse Aktas

HAMA, Syria

Anadolu Agency has obtained video footage from local activists that purportedly shows Assad regime forces firing on prison inmates at Hama’s main prison facility.

In the video, regime forces are shown shooting and hurling gas bombs at inmates and setting fire to parts of the prison.

Inmates, who were able to record the events on mobile phones, have called on the Red Cross and the international community to intervene on their behalf.

Chaos erupted at the prison earlier this week when inmates refused to hand over five political detainees that the regime was intending to execute.

In the ensuing riot, regime forces besieged the facility, using teargas against prisoners.

During the melee, inmates managed to capture a brigadier general and two other officers, along with other security personnel.

The two officers were later released following negotiations in which the prison authorities promised to free 200 political detainees.

Hama’s central prison facility, which is operated by Syria’s Assad regime, currently houses an estimated 1,000 political prisoners.

Last year, inmates of the same prison staged a similar riot, citing mistreatment by the prison authorities.

Security forces responded with teargas before eventually deescalating the situation.

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