Isle of Man prison protest ends 'peacefully'

A protest over the smoking ban at the Isle of Man prison has been resolved "peacefully", according to the government.

A small group of inmates at the Jurby prison staged the protest in a dispute over the smoking ban.

It is thought about 17 men from the A wing part of the building refused to return to their cells on Wednesday.

A government spokesman said the situation was resolved by 18:00 (BST) without the use of force.

Prison governor, Alison Gomme said: "Because prisoners refused to return to their cells in spite of over four hours of negotiation there came a point when further disruption to the routine and lives of the majority of the prisoners could no longer be tolerated.

"A further order to return to cells was issued and those that refused were removed by specially trained prison staff using approved techniques."

The prisoners concerned have all been placed in segregation on a restricted regime.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson said: "I would like to commend the governor and her staff for their professionalism in handling this incident."

A complete smoking ban was introduced as Isle of Man prison policy in May 2008. The UK and other jurisdictions generally permit smoking in cells.

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