Videos uploaded to a social media websites purport to show prisoners coming under fire from tear gas and rubber bullets as Syrian government forces fail to put down a revolt. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Conditions were worsening in a Syrian prison where nearly 800 mostly political detainees have launched a revolt, with security forces failing in an attempt to storm the facility overnight, rights groups and activists said on Saturday (May 7). The prison has been surrounded by government forces since Monday after inmates rose up and seized several guards in protest at the transfer of five detainees sentenced to death to a feared high security prison, according to rights activists in touch with inmates and with New York-based Human Rights Watch. Footage posted on social media websites on Saturday purported to show rebel forces firing multiple rockets at Syrian government positions in response to the prison siege. Security forces on Friday fired dozens of tear gas bombs at the prison and used rubber bullets in an attempt to end the rebellion. Videos released by inmates on social media showed several men gasping for breath and coughing and saying they were suffocating from "poisonous gas", with gunshots heard in the background and fires breaking out in the corridors after the gas canisters were launched. Rights groups say conditions are fast deteriorating with electricity and water cut for three days amid food shortages. A video uploaded on Saturday appeared to show inmates coming under fire and thrown stones as they attempted to collect rainwater in a courtyard enclosed by high walls. Inmates have demanded the release of political detainees held without charges and say their fears mainly stem from a wave of executions that could follow if they were to be transferred to the Sadnaya military prison, north of Damascus. International rights groups say thousands of detainees are held in Syrian government prisons without charge and many of them are tortured to death, a claim denied by the authorities.