Police in riot gear were forced to subdue roughly 400 rioting jailbirds at Bělušice Prison near Most over the weekend.
According to the prison, the riots were triggered by the inmates’ anxiety over the coronavirus; Recently an inmate tested positive for COVID-19 who is currently in quarantine. Then, a rumour spread amongst the inmates that prisoners were being released from another prison in Moravia because of coronavirus, causing the Bělušice inmates to rise up in envy.
The first riot broke out on Friday and was eventually tamed, but then 200 other prisoners joined them on Saturday, forcing the police to intervene.
A spokeswoman for the prison said that the inmates’ concerns about their safety are unreasonable given that there’s only one infection out of 578 inmates, “So there is no rational reason for unrest,” Petra Kučerová said.
“Thanks to us introducing anti-covid-19 precautions early on, we have a very small number of prisoners in the country who have tested positive. So far there are only 19 prisoners out of roughly 19,000. Compared to other countries, this is actually a big success.”
The police announced on Twitter that they were looking at punishing the leaders of the riot with another 10 years in prison.
“In regards to the riots in Bělušice prison, we’ve begun criminal proceedings on suspicion of the prisoners committing the crime of organizing a riot. The leaders will face another 10 years behind bars. Since we’re at the beginning of our investigation, we won’t disclose any further information.”