Prison officers continue to block prison access to protest physical threats
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Prison officers protesting against their dangerous work conditions continued to block the entrance to the Alençon/Condé-sur-Sarthe premises on Saturday. One of their team remains in hospital after an inmate stabbed him this week.
The top-security prison where two guards were stabbed and seriously injured by a detainee on Tuesday was blockaded by about a hundred protestors on Saturday.
Trade union, Force Ouvrière (FO) is backing their action which amounts to a seige on the prison.
On Friday, police fired tear gas to allow food to be delivered to the prison, and to allow prison officers and trainee guards to enter.
However, they have not removed the protestors who have been camping out on mattresses, beds and sofas in front of the entrance, and making fires out of wooden pallets.
An FO representative said colleagues were arriving from other prisons in the west of France to lend support.
Saturday's regular visiting hours for prisoners have been cancelled.
Negotiations between the authorities and the protestors are due to resume on Monday.
The incident on Tuesday started during the visit of the 27 year-old detainee's wife, who it is believed gave him a ceramic knife which he used as a weapon to stab the guards.
The couple then barricaded themselves in the so-called family room until special forces launched an assault. They prisoner was captured and his wife died from injuries sustained in the police attack.
One prison guard has left hospital. His colleague is still receiving treatment.
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