Nicosia Central Prisons are in tumult while President Anastasiades faces a law-and-order crisis, after a riot broke out yesterday following yet another cell suicide, the fourth within a year.
Dozens of inmates ran amok when they found a 40-year-old Iranian lifer hanged in his cell.
Deputy Central Prison head George Tryfonides rushed to the wing where the riot was taking place, but he faced a barrage of abuse.
Anti-terrorist police were deployed to bring order and the situation was gradually normalised around an hour later when inmates were locked down. Prison guards were recalled from leave, while special police units will remain at the Central Prisons as part of measures that President Anastasiades has ordered.
He is determined to tackle chronic overcrowding and the alleged bribes between certain inmates who enjoy privileges from the guards leading to an increasingly lawless situation.
Concerns have also been raised over the number of suicides and attempted suicides among mainly younger convicts. A young Romanian being gang-raped, reports of systematic sexual abuse and bullying have compounded an already fragile situation.
A report on the gang-rape is on the justice minister's desk, as well as evidence pointing to a particular lifer reportedly having the guards in his pocket.
A Presidential order suspending 7 guards is expected today. They are all serving in wings where the young Romanian was allegedly raped, and the suicide took place.