Tuesday , October 4 2022

Two men receive jail terms for inciting HCMC prison riot


Two men in Ho Chi Minh City were sentenced to jail Monday for inciting riots at a local prison amid Covid-19 last year.

Tran Tuan Hai, 37, and Nguyen Van Trong, 32, both received 1.5 years in jail for “violations against regulations on detention.”

Combined with their previous sentences for “illegal trading of narcotic substances,” “illegal arrest, detention, or imprisonment of a person” and “extortion,” Hai got 21.5 years in total, while Trong’s total is 17.5 years, the HCMC People’s Court ruled.

On July 6 last year, as a major Covid-19 wave was devastating HCMC, Trong and nine other inmates at Chi Hoa Prison experienced symptoms like fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Three days prior, a 26-year-old inmate had died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

When Trong and the other inmates were taken to Chi Hoa Hospital within the prison for treatment, they refused to follow doctors’ orders and demanded special treatment. As such, they were led back to their cells. But they refused to go and demanded to be taken to a hospital outside of the prison.

By taking advantage of an opportunity when wardens were delivering meals to inmates, around 30 inmates decided to riot, left their cells, poured into the hallways and demanded to be given medical treatment.

At 2 p.m., two people reported breathing difficulties and were taken to Chi Hoa Hospital.

Inmates in the hallways then incited riots, saying wardens refused to let Covid-19 infectees receive help, leading to severe conditions. Trong and Hai even scaled walls and incited others to come to disrupt the work of wardens. Hai then borrowed a hammer and an iron rod from a friend to damage the locks of several cells, freeing around 60 inmates.

By 8 p.m. the same day, authorities managed to contain the inmates and lead them back to their cells.

Chi Hoa Prison was originally built by the French Indochina colonial government in 1943 to replace Maison Centrale at the corner of Ly Tu Trong and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Streets.

It has for long been considered one of the most secure prisons in Vietnam with only two successful breakouts in its history.

Chi Hoa Prison was originally built by the French Indochina colonial government in 1943 to replace Maison Centrale at the corner of Ly Tu Trong and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Streets.

It has for long been considered one of the most secure prisons in Vietnam with only two successful breakouts in its history.

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