[JURIST] Thousands of Romanian prisoners protested Sunday demanding improved conditions in overcrowded prisons after a bill was rejected last week by a committee of the Romanian Parliament [official website]. The bill would have granted early release to approximately 10,000 prisoners with less than five-year sentences. Nearly 6,000 inmates in 24 prisons across Romania refused food, set fire to sheets or banged on doors and windows, calling for better conditions. In many of the country's jails, prisoners have to share beds and are not given exercise privileges because the low number of available guards cannot monitor those activities.
Nati Meir [official profile], who sponsored the bill, urged the inmates to stop protesting because he said it would not bolster their petition for amnesty. Romanian Justice Minister Monica Macovei [official profile; Wikipedia profile] said Sunday that Romania has plans to build more prisons to alleviate the overcrowding problem in the country's current facilities. AP has more.