Inmates at the women’s prison in Thebes, northwest of Attica, burned mattresses and smashed windows yesterday in protest at the death of a 40-year-old prisoner while she was being transferred to Crete. The stand-off between inmates and prison authorities lasted several hours. Representatives of the Initiative for Prisoners’ Rights claimed they were prevented from entering the prison as the warden had been instructed by the Justice Ministry not to let them in. The tension was eased when ministry officials met with representatives of the inmates to discuss their grievances. There were also problems at Hania prison in Crete on Saturday, when inmates gathered in the exercise yard and refused to return to their cells because of overcrowding. Transfers on Friday had led to 154 people being held at the jail, which has a capacity for only 118.