Waikeria Prison riot: Inmates appear increasingly desperate for water and are drinking each others urine

Seventeen inmates holed up on the roof of Waikeria Prison appear to be getting increasingly desperate for food and water, with a source telling Newshub they’ve resulted to drinking each others urine which they have tried to filter it through socks and underwear.

Negotiators have been withholding food and water in a bid to starve out the remaining 17 prisoners who remain on the roof and are refusing to come down.

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Prisoners have claimed the police armed offenders squad tried to “storm them” twice overnight, the source said. Police denied those claims.

Prisoners allege they wait months for medical treatment inside the facility and have described using the same towel and dirty clothes for weeks, the source said.

Corrections did not respond to Newshub’s questions to verify prisoners’ claims on Thursday, only saying: “There has been no change to the situation overnight.”

Inmates earlier lit fires and destroyed property protesting what they claim are “inhumane conditions”. 

Prisoners allege they wait months for medical treatment inside the facility and have described using the same towel and dirty clothes for weeks.

Meanwhile, former police negotiator Lance Burdett told Newshub the prisoners could be on the roof for a while and said the standoff will be tense.

He said the standoff could go on for days if the inmates have access to food.

“You’re dealing with people’s emotions; people that are under enormous pressure and the longer it goes on, the higher the likelihood of something untoward happening.”

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Corrections admitted they had no idea the riot was about to erupt until Newshub alerted them to a tipoff.

More than 200 inmates had to be moved away from a burning prison unit to safety. So far, only four of the 21 responsible for the rioting had surrendered, Corrections chief executive Jeremy Lightfoot told the conference.

Corrections wouldn’t divulge its plan to end the ordeal but hinted that starving them out was one option.

“We have not been providing them with any additional food and water,” Lightfoot said.

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