MOSCOW, March 17 (RAPSI) – Investigators have sent a case against 18 participants in mass riots at the Kopeisk prison in the Chelyabinsk Region to court, Russia’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday.

The Kopeysk prison protest was reportedly sparked in late November 2012 in response to fellow inmates being held in punishment cells. The inmates’ relatives gathered outside the prison and clashed with riot police, who then arrested about 30 of them.

The prison warden was dismissed and charged with abuse of office.

The Investigative Committee found that the inmates rioted to seize power in the prison and the right to consume alcohol, to use mobile phones and to have access to the Internet, sexual services and other benefits that are denied to them under the criminal and penal codes.

Investigators have established that preparations for the riots lasted several months and that at least 150 of the inmates’ relatives, friends and acquaintances and over 1,000 inmates took part in the protest.

The case will be heard at the Chelyabinsk Region Court.