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Prisoner died after being shot in riot at Montagne Posée

31st March 2016

The President has ordered an inquiry into how an inmate was shot during a prison riot at Montagne Posée.

Robert Banane, 40, fell from the roof top of the prison and died later in hospital.

Home Affairs Minister Charles Bastienne said: “Autopsy results reveal that he died from hypovolemic shock, multiple intra-abdominal injuries, probably a gunshot wound.”

Prison superintendent Maxime Tirant said trouble started on Thursday (March 17) when prison officers foiled an escape attempt by three inmates.

He said: “Although the three were brought back into the prison itself, they refused along with all the other inmates in the high security facility unit to get into their cells and the situation persisted until the next day.

“As the situation had boiled over, the police were called in on Friday afternoon to help diffuse it and some inmates climbed on to the roof of the prison and threw broken concrete slabs at the officers who used tear gas and non-lethal weapon. 

“The deceased was on the roof of the prison and he fell. He sustained injuries in his abdomen. He was brought to the Seychelles Hospital but died on Saturday.” 

Mr Bastienne said: “Who fired the shot will be established during the investigation. The investigation will determine who exactly, what kind of bullet and which type of gun could have caused the death of Robert Banane.”

Mr Bastienne confirmed that there had been a 24-hour stand-off between the high security wing prisoners and law enforcement officers. The prisoners were finally locked-up in their cells on Friday afternoon. A total of 68 convicts are being detained at the high security wing.

Trouble however spread to the main prison block where there are over 600 inmates including over 100 detainees on remand.

Up to 40 officers were called to the prison on Friday to help restore law and order.

Mr Bastienne went on: “When we conducted the operation the commissioner of police assured me that the officers sent to the prison went with non-lethal weapons including tear gas, smoke gas and rubber grenades.” 

But he said senior officers were armed with pistols while Gurkhas had AK47 riffles.

Mr Banane had been sentenced to two months' imprisonment for the non-payment of a fine, and was due to be released soon. 

President Michel expressed his deepest condolences to Mr Banane’s family and ordered an inquiry into his death. Mr Bastienne said a commission will be set up.

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