6 reckless prisoners shot themselves dead after failed prison break attempt (Photo)

February 13, 2015 9:17 am

Six heavily armed inmates who held their warden and a guard hostage at a
prison in Taiwan have committed suicide after a dramatic 14-hour siege.

The prisoners had broken into the prison’s armory and seized a number of
weapons, including rifles, handguns and more than 200 bullets,The six
inmates all worked in the sewing factory and would have had access to
scissors, the ministry said. The inmates pretended to be sick and went
to the prison infirmary. While there, they grabbed the keys from prison
staff but were unable to break out of the prison. They smashed their way
into a room storing the prison’s weapons instead.The inmates, who were serving a range of sentences for crimes including
murder, complained about their sentences, mistreatment at the jail, and
the recent release of former President Chen Shui-bian on medical
grounds, according to Taiwanese media reports. He was serving a 20-year
sentence for corruption.

One of the hostage takers, identified by Taiwanese media as Cheng Li-te,
a member of a notorious criminal gang, issued a statement at around 11
p.m., which was read on Taiwanese television by Wu Hsien-chang, head of
the Taiwan’s Corrections Agency.

In it, Cheng pleaded his innocence.

 “I didn’t kill anyone but I have to serve 18 years in prison. I’m not the only innocent inmate here. Who can speak out for us?”

He then complained that their monthly allowance of NT$200 (around US$6)
was not even enough to buy underwear, and that prison inmates were
denied the same chance of medical parole as former President Chen.

The inmates demanded safe exit by car via a side door of the prison.

Deputy justice minister Chen Ming-tang said officials rejected the
group’s demands for safe passage out of the prison and tried to convince
them to surrender during hours of negotiations.

‘We tried to give them assurances so they wouldn’t do something stupid
and to reconsider, but sadly they committed suicide and we feel deep
regret,’

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