29 August 2012

Mozambique: Six Prisoners Escape in Beira

Photo: Amnesty International
File Photo: Prisoners

Maputo — Six prisoners, one convicted of murder and five accused of theft, have escaped from the main prison in the central Mozambican city of Beira.

According to the Beira daily paper "Diario de Mocambique", the six men escaped at about 02.00 on Tuesday morning.

The prison director, Fernando Melico, said they broke through bars on a bathroom window, made their way across the roof to the administrative building, and then escaped over the main wall at a place where the barbed wire on top of the wall is not secure.

This is the second escape from the prison so far this year. On 30 April, ten prisoners escaped.

Melico could not confirm whether there was any complicity by prison guards in the escape. "We can't advance any information about this yet", he said.

"We are still investigating, but at first sight we can say the team on duty must have relaxed, because they are obliged to notice any unusual movements, and that didn't happen".

He said that, faced with two breakouts in the space of four months, "the prison management is concerned about the problem of security of the premises".

"But while we are studying, so are the prisoners", he added, "and they have much more time to figure out ways to evade prison surveillance and security".

A police team has been set up to re-arrest the six fugitives as quickly as possible. Melico urged citizens who have any knowledge of their whereabouts to contact the nearest police station.

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