Indonesia: Beer party triggers Tulungagung prison riot

4 August: Tulungagung, East Java  – A party in which beer was served resulted in a riot, along with escape attempts by dozens of prisoners and detainees, after several inmates became intoxicated after drinking Javanese beer, according to Chief of Tulungagung Penitentiary Muji Widodo.

“We noted that at least six inmates are known to have become drunk and made a commotion by breaking block door and provoking other inmates,” said Widodo here on Sunday.

However, the escape attempt by dozens of prisoners was unsuccessful, said prison officials.

During the riot, several prisoners damaged the second porter door in the main entrance of Class II Tulungagung Penitentiary.

The Indonesia military and police prevented prisoners from escaping, prior to tarawih prayers.

“The main instigator of the riot was a prisoner named Yudi, who was caught carrying a cell phone and was punished by being placed in a 2×1 meter square isolation cell for two days,” according to Widodo. The punishment triggered a response by inmates in Block A and B who insisted Yudi be released from the isolation cell.

Widodo said officers do not know whether the beer was smuggled into the prison or was illegally provided by prison employees. He said officers are working to trace the origins of the liquor, which is forbidden in the Class II Tulungagung Prison. “We also do not know where the liquor came from. It could have been smuggled in by family or relatives when they visited in the afternoon,” he said. Widodo said officers often seize illegal shipments of drugs, such as LL types and other psychotropic drugs. He added that relatives sometimes throw illegal drugs over the walls and into the yard near the A and B prison blocks, where the riot occurred.

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