Some of the damage caused during a riot that broke out at the Banceuy Narcotics Prison in Bandung, West Java, on Saturday morning (23/04). Authorities are performing an autopsy on the body of the inmate whose death triggered the riot and a massive fire after his family and fellow inmates dismissed the prison management's conclusion that he committed suicide. (Antara Photo/Agus Bebeng)

Family and Inmates Claim Torture, Not Suicide, Behind Bandung Prison Riot

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

APRIL 24, 2016

Jakarta. Authorities are performing an autopsy on the body of the inmate whose death triggered a riot and a massive fire inside the Banceuy Narcotics Prison in Bandung, West Java, on Saturday morning (23/03). His family and fellow inmates have dismissed the prison management's conclusion that he committed suicide.

The riot broke out at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday morning after inmates learned that Undang Kosim, 54, had been found dead in his cell at 1.30 a.m. Hundreds of prisoners started throwing rocks at the guards before they set fire to prison officials' offices.

An inmate told Tempo.co that they suspect Undang was tortured in an effort to get him to confess that he had tried to smuggle drugs into the prison.

"We know that [prison officials] had no proof against Undang. Besides, he was scheduled to be released in a few months, so he wouldn't do anything that stupid," the inmate, identified as Richard, told the news portal on Sunday.

Richard said inmates were enraged when prison authorities tried to pass Undang's death off as a suicide.

"When prisoners got out of their cells, they spontaneously started to riot," he said.

Banceuy prison chief Agus Irianto however insisted that Undang hanged himself while he was in solitary confinement.

Undang's family told another news portal, Detik.com, that they found "bruises and stab wounds" on his body.

"This led the family to believe that he was abused," Undang's brother, Dedi, said on Sunday.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, whose office oversees prisons across the country, confirmed that authorities were conducting an autopsy on Undang's body but added that "there are new developments" in the case.

"If [the suicide claim] is not true, I will be the first to punish [prison officials]," Yasonna said, as quoted by Tempo.

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