One in­mate still at large af­ter prison break

The Myanmar Times - - News - – Maung Zaw, trans­la­tion by San Layy

Seven in­mates who had bro­ken out of their prison cell in Sa­gaing’s Hkamti town­ship over the weekend were ar­rested yes­ter­day, while one es­capee re­mains at large, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The eight sus­pects were all serv­ing time on nar­cotics charges.

“Al­most all the de­tainees who broke out of the de­ten­tion cell have been ar­rested, but one of them is still miss­ing. But, we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing, and be­lieve we will ar­rest him soon,” said Po­lice Ma­jor Than Htay from the Hkamti Po­lice Sta­tion.

The jail break oc­curred around 8pm on Au­gust 28, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice ma­jor. Ten po­lice of­fi­cers were on duty at the de­ten­tion site at the time of the es­cape.

“There was a weak­ness in the cell. We did not im­me­di­ately know about the cell breach be­cause many de­tainees were be­ing held in the cell. The cell is cur­rently un­der full se­cu­rity,” said Pol Maj Than Htay.

But ac­tivist Ko Aung San Myint warned that pris­ons must ad­dress over­crowd­ing, and not just take ad­di­tional se­cu­rity mea­sures if they in­tend to re­solve jail breaks.

“The cell had only enough space for 60 de­tainees, but there are about 100 de­tainees in the cell at the time,” he said. “If the num­bers of de­tainees can­not be re­duced, the same thing will hap­pen again.”

The seven in­mates who were re-ar­rested are now fac­ing an ad­di­tional charge un­der sec­tion 333 of the pe­nal code for de­ter­ring or caus­ing harm to a pub­lic ser­vant in the course of duty. The ad­di­tional charge car­ries a max­i­mum 10-year prison sen­tence.

Pol Maj Than Htay said three po­lice of­fi­cers were in­jured while re-ar­rest­ing the in­mates.

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