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Angry French prison guards block jails

FRENCH police have fired tear gas at angry French jail guards seeking to block the transfer of prisoners to court in the capital as protests by penitentiary workers spread across the country.

Penitentiary workers in France are not allowed to strike. To express their anger, they have blocked exits from prisons, taken holiday or stayed off the job.

French labor unions say about two-thirds of France's 194 jails experienced labor action Monday. No figures are available yet Tuesday.

Prison workers say work conditions have deteriorated and there are not enough of them. In 2008, 20 prison workers committed suicide.

Meanwhile, the number of prisoners is increasing. In April, 63,351 people were incarcerated in France, up 651 from March.


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