Akbar Hadi, a spokesman for the corrections directorate general of the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, said that the riot began when the penitentiary head caught a prisoner outside of his prison cell.
“An inmate was recently reprimanded by the head of the penitentiary,” Akbar said as quoted by Indonesian news portal Viva.co.id. “[Prison chief Tri Pamudji] said, ‘why are you outside?’” According to the Jawa Pos, Tri slapped the inmate, identified as Riki, at 9 a.m. Feeling that such an action was unwarranted, Riki hit the officer back. “When [Tri] was unguarded, the inmate hit him from behind,” Akbar added. The back of Tri’s head was cut open after the ordeal, and he was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.
Around an hour after the confrontation, other inmates proceeded to attack on-duty officers and burn parts of the penitentiary, Akbar said.
Meanwhile, Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin told reporters on Saturday that he is still waiting for an official report on the incident. “Regarding Palopo, I am still waiting for the details of the incident,” Amir said in Jakarta.