9 Jul 2013

Protest delays work on new Tahiti prison

1:29 pm on 9 July 2013

Protestors in Tahiti have delayed today's start of construction of French Polynesia's new prison.

Police were called to the site in Papeari to end a blockade by opponents, who included the mayor and member of the French National Assembly, Jonas Tahuiatu.

Local radio says the group had set up the blockade at dawn in a bid to force a dialogue with the French high commissioner, but once police gave it a three minute deadline, it cleared the access.

The construction of the new jail is expected to take three years and employ 300 people.

Once finished, it will employ 260 people.

The current jail at Nuutania is among the most overcrowded prisons run by France.