French police have quelled numerous revolts across France’s horribly overcrowded prisons, where inmates live on the borderline of human dignity.
On Monday, hundreds of prisoners at the Fleury-Merogis jail — the largest prison in Europe — set fire to their beds and part of the building to protest the miserable, unsanitary conditions there, French media reported Monday.
Calm was restored after French riot police fired tear gas and attacked prisoners with batons.
Similar revolts were suppressed at prisons in Marseilles, Fresnes and Rennes.
Many human rights groups have described French prisons as the worst detention centers in the world, with dingy and windowless cells, moldy bathrooms and small courtyards that mostly host fistfights between the prisoners.
The country’s prisons have won notoriety for their record suicide rates with last year having witnessed 115 inmates committing suicide and 1,200 unsuccessfully attempting to do so.
Prison guards claim that fear, threats, violence and terrible hygiene in the prisons have replaced order and rehabilitation.
Currently, 63,000 convicts are incarcerated in prisons which can only accommodate 52,000.