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Kazakh Riot Police Surround Prison

QARABAS, Kazakhstan -- At least 200 relatives of convicts gathered in front of prison AK-159/18 in Kazakhstan’s central Qaraghandy region on September 20, demanding to meet with their loved ones.

According to the relatives, two military trucks with riot police were brought to the penitentiary.

Screaming could be heard from within the prison.

Penitentiary officials said routine safety training was under way.

Local media report that two inmates in the prison maimed themselves.

The prison was surrounded by police. Security forces would not allow the relatives to approach.

For years, prisoners in the region's penitentiaries have rioted to protest jail conditions.

Prison protests have intensified in the past two years since a video was posted on the Internet showing an inmate being beaten by a prison guard.
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