118 Tanjung Gusta inmates remain at large

INDONESIA - The government says 118 prisoners who escaped during a riot in Tanjung Gusta Penitentiary in Medan, North Sumatra, on Thursday, remain at large. Four of the 118 were imprisoned on terror charges.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said Tanjung Gusta Penitentiary currently accommodated 2,599 inmates, far exceeding its capacity of 1,054 inmates. In total, 212 prisoners escaped during the riot, he said.

"Ninety-four escapees have been recaptured. Five of those were imprisoned on terror charges. Meanwhile, 118 prisoners remain at large, and authorities are still hunt down four terror convicts," said Djoko in a press conference after a Cabinet meeting at Halim Perdanakusuma air base in East Jakarta on Saturday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

Djoko said the prison riot was caused by a blackout, which resulted in an outage of clean water from morning to afternoon.

"The power and water outages triggered their anger, causing a riot in which they set alight a prison building," said Djoko. He said the Tanjung Gusta prisoners had complained not only about the electricity and water but also about Government Regulation No.99/2012 on the limitation of remissions for corruption, drug and terror convicts.

Djoko said the law and human rights minister had explained that the 2012 PP was aimed at have a deterrent effect.