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Brazil Jail Riot Ends, Hostages Released

Revolting inmates of a prison in north-eastern Brazil have ended their unrest and released all hostages they had seized during the riot, media reports citing officials said late on Monday.

Some 400 inmates at the Advogado Jacinto Filho de Aracaju prison in the Brazilian state of Sergipe had seized control of the facility during visiting hours on Sunday, taking more than 100 people hostage.

Armed with pistols and knifes, the rioting prisoners were demanding improved facilities, greater respect for female visitors as well as speedy trials and new jail administrators.
They also complained about torture.

During negotiations aimed at ending the trouble, the prisoners reportedly said they would provide the authorities a list of names of guards who allegedly mistreated them.

Although hostages taken during the rioting were mostly relatives visiting prisoners, they also included three prison guards. All of the 130 people taken hostage were later released unharmed, with 28 being released on Monday morning.

While some media reports suggested that the remaining hostages were released after authorities promised to look into the inmates' demands, some indicated that they were released in a police operation.

Nevertheless, authorities said some of the prisoners' demands, including the one for a new administrative team for the facility, were unacceptable. They added that some of the demands could only be met by the country's judiciary.

Such prison riots are common in Brazil, where jails are often overcrowded. The Aracaju jail where the latest riot broke out was originally designed to house only 2,000 prisoners, but now holds about 4,000.

A similar riot at the Pedrinhas prison in Sao Luis, capital of north-eastern Maranhao state, had left at least 18 inmates dead in 2010 November.

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