Report: Gangs, not guards, rule Bosnia prison

Updated - November 18, 2016 07:19 am IST

Published - April 01, 2010 06:53 pm IST - SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina

An EU watchdog says gangs control parts of Bosnia’s largest prison through a culture of violence and intimidation.

Thursday’s report by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture said the prison in the central Bosnian town of Zenica is unsafe for both inmates and staff.

It says the prison is dangerously understaffed, with one officer guarding a high security unit and two watching over up to 500 prisoners in the yard.

A week before investigators visited one prisoner was hospitalized after a gang attack, another tried to hang himself and in protest against jail conditions two demonstrated on a rooftop and and six sewed their lips together.

Bosnian authorities promise to reinforce prison staff with 50 officers and take other steps to improve prison safety.

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