On Monday night, a large number of prison workers gathered at the Fleury-Merogis Prison –Europe’s biggest prison—to demonstrate again the assault on guards at the Vendin-le-Vieil prison in northern France. Fleury-Merogis Prison is located in the suburbs of Paris. Protests were also staged in other parts of France to draw attention of authorities towards security issues in French prisons.
According to Sputnik News, about hundred men shouted slogans near the gate of the Fleury-Merogis prison. They were demanding more security for prison workers. Many of the demonstrators were wearing Union Federale Autonome Penitentiare (UFAP) vests and were prepared to clash with the riot police that that eventually used smoke grenades to disperse these protestors.
“If we’re talking specifically about the Fleury-Merogis prison…today a guard has to manage 90 prisoners. Add to this the new issue of Islamist terrorists who we have been asked to supervise,” a UFAP union representative told Sputnik France.
He revealed that the terrorists are usually mixed with the ordinary criminals in French prisons, and a single guard has to handle nearly 90 to 100 inmates in the prison.
Guards’ unions also accuse authorities of failing to deal with nearly 4,000 recently recorded cases of attacks on guards.
Last week, three guards were injured at Vendin-le-Vieil prison in a scissor attack by an Islamist militant named Christian Ganczarski. He is an ethnic Pole German national and a former member of al-Qaeda. Ganczarski received an 18-year sentence for his involvement in Djerba synagogue bombing.
Ganczarski attacked three guards and stabbed them with scissors while he was being transferred out of solitary confinement at the prison.
Vendin-le-Vieil is a high security prison located about 200 km north of Paris in northern France. On Monday, the Vendin-le-Vieil prison’s director resigned from his post.
In another incident on Monday, seven guards were attacked by an inmate at a jail in Mont-de-Marsan, southwest France. Three guards were seriously injured in the incident.
The inmate attacked guards when he was being searched by officers. According to some reports, a bag that this inmate was carrying set off the alert as he passed through a security gate. The inmate kicked and punched the officers and guards. One guard suffered a broken finger and another broken nose. Some guards also suffered facial injuries.