Sunday May 22, 201109:17 AM GMT
Inmates free hostages in Venezuela jail
Sun May 22, 2011 9:18AM
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Police officers stand guard next to a barricade set up by inmates' relatives at a highway in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, May 21, 2011.
Inmates at a prison in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas have freed the warden and fourteen other officers who were held hostage for over a day.


"They're with us. They're in good health," said Nestor Reverol, a deputy justice minister, according to AP.

The prisoners agreed to free their captives after authorities promised to investigate the prisoners' complaints about being abused, he added.

The clashes began on Friday after a group of inmates were reportedly mistreated by the National Guard troops while they were being taken to court.

Four inmates were severely injured during their transfer to court. Three of the injured inmates were later taken back to the prison.

"It can't be that every time they're transferred to court their human rights are violated. They come back beaten," said Mayorlet de Santiago, a spokeswoman for the relatives of inmates who gathered outside the prison during the hostage standoff.

After seizing the hostages, the prisoners demanded that their rights be respected and also called for the prison employees to be removed.

Reverol said the employees' conduct would be closely watched but there were no plans for their dismissal.

MD/AKM
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