Major insurrection in Turnhout prison, near the Dutch border | Abroad

A major uprising broke out on Friday evening around 9 p.m. in Turnhout prison, Belgium, near the Dutch border. This included a fire. Approximately seventy inmates refused to leave the yard and return to their cells for an extended period of time. The police had to step up their efforts on a large scale.


Liese Demeulenaere


Last update:
09-22-23, 11:00 p.m.

A telephone outage and an announced strike by guards were said to have caused the strike. At this time, the prisoners are taken back to their cells one by one. It works without any major issues.

Due to the poor timing of the riot on Friday evening, police had to call in many off-duty officers. “That's why it took a while before we could play. As soon as we have enough men, it could happen,” says spokesperson Rudy Remijsen.

In addition to the police, firefighters also arrived on the scene. A fire was started by the insurgents. “There is no reason to panic. There is no escape at the moment. Some detainees found themselves between the double fence. Our colleagues are receiving support from other forces in the region and are doing everything possible. is in their power to normalize the situation as quickly as possible,” police said. Later in the evening, a water cannon also arrived at the prison as a precaution.

A telephone outage caused frustration among some inmates. When prison guards also announced they were planning to strike on Monday and Tuesday, the situation escalated. Following this strike, prisoners must remain in their cells most of the day.

Rescue and law enforcement services in front of the prison entrance.
Rescue and law enforcement services in front of the prison entrance. © Turnhout police region

Prison emergency services.  A large perimeter has been established.
Prison emergency services. A large perimeter has been established. ©LDT

Prison emergency services.  A large perimeter has been established.
Prison emergency services. A large perimeter has been established. ©LDT