Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Yet another reason perhaps

Saddam Hussein wants to spend the time before his trial in a Swedish prison. Saddam's lawyer says:

"Prisons in Sweden seem to be more comfortable than in other places.
Besides, Sweden has historically been a neutral country."

Well, he could have added that the Swedish prisons seem to have revolving doors, you're free to pass in and (mostly I guess) out whenever you want by the look of it. Last wednesday, four dangerous criminals escaped from the prison Hall, south of Stockholm. One of them, Tony Olsson, and two others killed two policemen five years ago after running away from a bank rob. One of the other escapees, Daniel Mairona, escaped from another prison, Kumla, last winter and from Hall two years ago.

Luckily, the police force made a good job and all four of them got caught pretty soon. What followed naturally was a debate on the security of the prisons in Sweden. But that debate obviously didn't lead to anything.

Because just about an hour ago, four other criminals escaped from the prison in Norrtälje, north of Stockholm. All these prisons, Kumla, Hall and Norrtälje, are supposed to be high security prisons. After the escape last week, the opposition called for the minister of justice to resign. Will he do it now?

Update: I was wrong, it was three inmates who escaped from Norrtälje today, not four.

An interesting feature though is that one of the escapees, Peter Bottany, is the chairman of the National Trust Council who works for the sake of the inmates. Another interesting feature is that Bottany and three others wrote an article in one of the biggest Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, last friday. The headline to the article is "The isolated gets desperate"(Isolerade blir desperata).


The aim [of the correction system] must reasonably be to create a
change among the convicted, not to break them down mentally so that they act

Yes, I agree. But I'm puzzled since the one who wrote this escaped himself five days later. Does that mean that Bottany (who studies psychology while imprisoned) was desperate when he and the others wrote the article? Not unlikely. The escape as such sounds well planned. They were helped by three masked and armed men from the outside. Also, the getaway car is registered on an inmate at Norrtälje so they got some help from people on the inside as well. The plans must have been made before last friday.

Update 2 (9th August): One of them got caught yesterday afternoon and the two others early this morning.