Clairvaux Prison

Clairvaux Prison is a high-security prison in France, on the grounds of the former Clairvaux Abbey

1971 revolt

In 1971, two convicts, Claude Buffet and Roger Bontems, took as hostages a nurse, Nicole Comte, and a prison guard, Guy Girardot. Buffet subsequently murdered them. Buffet and Bontems were captured. Bontems, whose defence counsel included Robert Badinter, contended that the murder was Buffet's idea.

Buffet said that he wanted death. Both were sentenced to death by the "assises" court in June 1972 and were guillotined.[1]

2006 manifesto

On 16 January 2006, several detainees who were serving life sentences in Clairvaux Prison, having each spent from 6 to 28 years in prison, signed a manifesto denouncing the "false" abolition of the death penalty. They declared that it had resulted in a slow and continuous punishment, a death in life. They called for restoration of the death penalty.

The convicts specifically denounced the French Republic which claimed, in accordance with the "advises of the European Council", that the "enforcing of prison sentences... has been conceived not only in order to protect society and assure the punishment of the convict, but also to favour his amendment and prepare his rehabilitation". They stated, "In reality: everything is for the punishment."[2]

Notable prisoners

In fiction


  1. - Names Related to the guillotine Archived 2009-01-25 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 28 January 2009)
  2. "Des perpétuités de Clairvaux : '... nous en appelons au rétablissement effectif de la peine de mort pour nous'". Hacktivist New Service. 16 January 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2006.
  3. Kropotkin, Peter (1971 (First Published 1899)). Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Dover. p. 458. ISBN 0-486-22485-6. In the middle of March, 1883, twenty-two of us, who had been condemned to more than one year of imprisonment, were removed in great secrecy to the central prison of Clairvaux. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  4. "Press release issued by the Registrar: GRAND CHAMBER JUDGMENT RAMIREZ SANCHEZ v. FRANCE". HUDOC. European Court of Human Rights. 04/07/2006. Retrieved 14 August 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)

See also


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