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International Law: prisonlawinsideout
Prisoners riot for more sex
By John Hirst
The unusual demand was among a long list of gripes which sparked a violent protest yesterday in the Esperanza prison, just outside the capital, Asuncion.
Prisoners seized the director of the prison and several other administration staff as they took over the facility.
They demanded more time to have sex with their wives and girlfriends and an end to mistreatment by prison guards.
Many Paraguayan prisons allow conjugal visits during the day. The rule also applies at Esperanza but clashes with the prisoners' working hours, during which they run small businesses such as clothing factories.
Prisoners said they had complained that work was getting in the way of pleasure, but had not been heard by administrators, so they decided to riot.
Derlis Osorio, the Paraguayan justice minister, said the riot ended after a tense, four-hour stand-off and there were no deaths or injuries.
It was announced last night that the prisoners had won part of their battle. Officials said prisoners would be allowed more conjugal visits during the day, outside working hours.
They promised to improve the way guards treated inmates, to investigate claims of abuse and to end the regime of strip searches of visitors.
But it was not clear whether prison authorities agreed to allow night time conjugal visits - which was at the top of the prisoners' wish-list.
No sex please, we're British...
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