Human rights violations…Death row inmate, four others on hunger strike
A man on death row was among eight other prisoners on a hunger strike demanding that the Director of Prisons and the Ministry of Home Affairs investigate human rights violations affecting them in the Camp Street Prison.
Eight of the prisoners have been refusing their meals for the last four days, while the death row inmate began his hunger strike Friday last.
The death row inmate has been identified as Noel Thomas called “Hundred”, while the eight other inmates in the “Strong Cell” known as ‘The Dungeon’ are Carl Winston Brown, Odingo Stewart, Collis Collison, Edward Skeeth, Clint Gobin, Justin Bailey, Jermaine Savory, Sachin Sahadeo and Amar Lallchand.
Sources reveal that Noel Thomas is on a hunger strike because he wants the government and other relevant authorities to “let him know his fate” after being in prison for 24- 19 of which was spent on death row.
It was further revealed that Thomas also suffers from hemorrhoids, and had a surgery this month. Thomas’ relatives are seeking his release; they had previously written to President Bharrat Jagdeo appealing for his release.
In 1997, the death warrant was read to Thomas and a stay of execution was granted. The United Nations Human Rights Committee was also petitioned and in 1998, that body recommended that the Guyana Government should release Thomas since there were many discrepancies in the trial.
However, in 1999 another death warrant was read and the local court again gave a stay of execution.
Thomas, along with Abdool Saleem Yassin, was sentenced to death over two decades ago for murdering Yassin’s younger brother, Abdool Kaleem Yassin, who was shot dead in 1987 at his Riverstown, Essequibo home. Thomas is said to have been paid $100 in advance to commit the crime. His alleged accomplice, Abdool Saleem Yassin, has since succumbed to tuberculosis.
Sources said that the other inmates who are on the hunger strike are located in ‘The Dungeon’, and some of them are being made to sleep on the concrete floor while some have a four inch mattress that has been damped by the concrete floor. There were also complaints that prisoners were not being fed properly or given medical attention.
A “Principle Officer Two” was also accused of attempting to poison an inmate.
Kaieteur News was unable to make contact with the Director of Prison, Dale Erskine, for a comment.