Deadly Prison Riot Leaves 8 Dead, 50 Wounded

( A riot in a Sri Lankan prison resulted in the death of eight inmates on Sunday, as guards were forced to open fire to bring it under control. A further 50 people were also injured during the riot.

On Sunday, criminals infected with the Chinese coronavirus were transferred into a Mahara prison from other facilities, causing unrest. Prisoners had already spent weeks protesting at other facilities to demand more COVID-19 tests and to prevent the spread of the virus within the facilities, where COVID-positive inmates were made to share facilities with healthy inmates.

A police spokesperson said that the unrest “turned into a prison riot.” Ajith Rohana said that inmates tried to take over the prison, with several hundred inmates also trying to break out of the facility completely.

Rohanna said that inmates “repeatedly destroyed most of the property, including offices inside the prison.”

The riot got so bad that hundreds of additional police officers were required to get involved, offering reinforcement and ultimately using deadly force to bring the chaos back under control.

Ragama Hospital director Shelton Perera told the press how “a majority of prisoners injured in the Mahara jail clashes were in critical condition.”

Inmates in Sri Lanka are forced to share facilities with COVID-positive patients as a result of the nations struggling prison system. More than 26,000 inmates have been sent to facilities that have a capacity of just 10,000, meaning the Sri Lankan authorities simply don’t have anywhere else to send inmates infected with COVID-19.

Over the last month, the nation has also experienced a huge range in COVID-19 cases. At least 22,900 cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the country so far, with 109 people dead – but those are only the cases we know about.