8 May 2006

Escaped Vanuatu inmates protest against jail conditions

3:23 pm on 8 May 2006

A group of escaped prisoners from Vanuatu's main jail in Port Vila has issued a protest over human rights abuses and conditions they experience in prison.

The prisoners are waiting at the Chiefs' Nakamal in the capital while the Chiefs present Police officials with the prisoners' complaints.

The prisoners escaped on Friday and hand-delivered a letter of complaint to the chairman of the national council of chiefs.

One of the prisoners, Jean-Denis Savoie, says they have been told to wait at the Nakamal to see what comes from the the talks.

"We have decided to stay in one place - do not separate until what we are fighting for... We are fighting for our human rights. There are many points... some of the police officers who looked after us, they didn't follow the law."

It's understood the prisoners will be handed over to police and returned to prison later this afternoon.