Siak, Riau (ANTARA) - Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly visited the Class IIB Penitentiary of Siak Sri Indrapura, Riau, Monday, to review the situation after it was ravaged by riots and fire on Saturday (May 11).

"We express regret over what transpired, though this is not the foremost time. The fundamental issue here is overcapacity, in this case, almost 500 percent," Yasonna remarked after inspecting the rubble and buildings of the burnt down prison.

The minister called to promptly initiate steps to conduct repairs at the remand center while awaiting the new development process. The Siak district government has already readied a five-hectare plot of land, though the development funding still lacks clarity.

The minister has called on the provincial and district governments to lend assistance to the development process for building prisons and the immigration process.

"If the governor has funds, it is not an issue,either it is from the district head. Here, there is a lot of oil. Funds are available but the issue of overcapacity is omnipresent. Regional government funds also from Jakarta are available for the required results. This is synergy," Laoly pointed out.

The minister also sought aid to fund the Narcotics Special Detention Center in Rumbai, Pekanbaru, assisted by the regional government. If it can be utilized, it will help to lessen the excess capacity, which typically arises from the sudden increase in the number of drug prisoners.

Currently, over 500 prisoners have been moved to other detention centers from Siak Prison. The Siak remand center is in dire need of temporary renovation. This old structure houses prisoners whose legal standing has yet to be legally enforced (inkracht).

Of 648 people detained at the Siak detention center, some 80 are still not permanent, or inkracht, so they need to be in Siak. The rest have been shifted to Pekanbaru Prison, Bangkinang, Bengkalis, and Dumai.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2019