Jul 28, 2008 News
The silence surrounding the dead inmate of the Camp Street lockups, Edwin Niles, is deafening.
This is according to the People’s National Congress Reform, which made the announcement during its most recent press briefing last week.
The party says Guyanese are appalled at the silence of the Jagdeo Administration regarding what it called the murder of Niles by elements of the prison authorities and the security forces.
A statement issued by the party highlighted the fact that none of the representatives of the regime has, to date, offered any acceptable explanation for this crime. The party emphasised that Guyanese would like to know whether Niles was killed by the prison authorities or whether, as it is now generally believed, other elements of the security forces had a hand in snuffing out the life of this young man.
“The Commissioner of Police, in particular, must address the issues raised by the Leader of the Opposition PNCR, Mr. Robert Corbin, in his letter to him…In his response, the Commissioner of Police stated that the investigation into Niles’s death has begun, but Guyanese have become accustomed to such statements being the prelude for future inaction.
In this regard, the party says, the PNCR expects the commissioner to conduct himself in a manner befitting his office, and to discharge his constitutional responsibility.”
The party also reiterated its call for an independent inquiry to determine how and why Niles was murdered, and bring some closure to Niles’s family, whose mother is clearly distraught by his death.
“Failure to hold an independent inquiry into the murder of Edwin Niles will convey to the world that the Jagdeo regime continues to condone the trampling on the human rights of the citizens of this country, the undermining of the rule of law, and the creation of conditions for the killings of other Guyanese and prisoners by out-of-control elements of the security forces, who are protected by the political directorate.”
Police ranks had said that Niles had shown evidence of having suffered a terrible beating when they went to the Camp Street Prison to collect him.
The ranks repeatedly denied that any injuries that Niles sustained occurred at the Brickdam Police Station.
Niles, 34, succumbed from his injuries.
Police officials say that ranks from the Brickdam Police Station visited the Georgetown Prison at around 20:00 hrs on July 3, after prison officials informed them that they had caught an inmate, later identified as Edwin Niles, with ammunition.
According to the sources, several soldiers and prison officers were with Niles. The sources recalled that Niles was shirtless and that his trousers and underwear were ‘hanging’ below his buttocks.
According to the sources, Niles was leaning against a wall and showed signs of having been severely injured.
“He was in a terrible state. His buttocks and shoulders were burnt,” one police officer said. According to the source, the burns on Niles’s buttocks were so severe that the skin had peeled off.
“He was bracing a wall. He could hardly stand. Every time he go to fall, they would push him to the wall.”
Kaieteur News understands that the police ranks were reluctant to take the injured prisoner to the Brickdam Police Station, but eventually did.
The police officers are adamant that Niles only spent about 15 minutes at the Brickdam Police Station.
During this time, they tried unsuccessfully to question the injured prisoner about the ammunition.
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