GENEVA Tensions remained high at Geneva’s Champ-Dollon prison, which holds inmates from 100 different nationalities, after three days of fighting. Last Sunday afternoon a brawl involving a hundred prisoners broke out resulting in seven injured, including one guard. More fighting erupted on Monday. On Tuesday morning, prison authorities called in ambulances after two further fights. A total of 26 prisoners and eight prison staff were hurt, some of whom were hospitalized.
Constantin Franziskakis, the director of Champ-Dollon, which was built in the 1970s near the city’s southern border with France, said the brawls occurred during exercise time, bringing together Albanian and North African prisoners. He appeared to dismiss a turf war as the cause of the unexpected violence. According to the Tribune de Gèneve, Franziskakis confirmed that three separate investigations have been launched. He also announced punitive measures against those responsible. Some prisoners will face a suspension of visits and be moved to the high security wing. The director added that he would address the prisoners making it clear that life in Champ Dollon is to be conducted in a civilized manner and in a spirit of coexistence. This is not the first time that rioting has erupted at Champ-Dollon. In 2006, 200% overcrowding coupled with alleged guard brutality caused prisoners to mutiny.