Inmates at Luxembourg’s penitentiary, protesting covid-19 measures, took part in what the justice ministry called a “violent incident” on 25 March.
Authorities at the prison in Schrassig, formally known as the Centre pénitentiaire de Luxembourg, have restricted movement and activities within the correctional facility and banned family visits to combat coronavirus transmission.
“While Luxembourg prisons haven’t yet confirmed any deaths from the illness, the government has put in place an emergency plan for its penitentiaries, also curbing meetings with lawyers,” Bloomberg News noted.
During the disturbance, detainees demanded protective masks, gloves and disinfectant gel, the restoration of activities, as well as early release.
“About 20 prisoners resorted to wrongdoing, making police intervention necessary.”
“Although faced with the state of emergency, the Ministry of Justice takes the demands presented by prisoners seriously.”
The ministry’s press release further stated:
“Inspired by events in certain neighbouring countries, [the] demand for early release is conceived as a method of fighting the crisis. It should be noted that this type of measure is [only] considered as a response in the event of prison overcrowding. As Luxembourg is, at the moment, not in this situation, there currently is no need to make modifications to the legal system for the execution of sentences.”
On 26 March, the justice ministry invoked crisis measures for criminal legal proceedings. Cases will be judged only on written pleadings. Defendants, their lawyers and prosecutors will not appear in court.