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SAUDI ARABIA - Aug. 11 - Prisoners Protest Conditions.

Residents in the northern city of Al Jawf say prisoners took over a prison housing 400 convicts in protest over conditions. But special police units are reported to be in control of the prison. (It is the 2nd security incident in the country, following an armed attack on a residential compound housing Western expatriates. The 2 incidents are not thought to be related.) The prisoners in Al Jawf reportedly took over the local jail to protest against the prison director, poor food and the lack of newspapers. They demanded to meet the local governor, Prince Abdel Ilah Bin Abdelaziz. The prince reportedly sent a representative to meet them, while special police units flew to Al Jawf to take control of the prison. It is not known whether any of the prisoners' demands are met but witnesses say several of those injured in the riot have been evacuated to a hospital. (Authorities are sensitive about their judicial system after 2 recent critical reports by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International. The group attacked the kingdom for what it called its lack of a fair judicial system. The Saudi government has defended its track record, inviting the UN to send an investigator to visit the kingdom's prisons.)
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Aug 12, 2000
Words:206
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