Mar 06, 2016 News
This is not the time to be remanded to Camp Street! This is the warning from a number of inmates who said that despite the brokered peace following unrest which claimed the lives of 17 prisoners, the situation at the facility remains tense.
On Friday prisoners agreed to halt their protest following a meeting with Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, and Minister of State, Joe Harmon. A number of compromises were hammered out.
“I want to remove from Camp Street. It ain’t safe no more,” one inmate declared.
He described Friday’s riot which occurred after the Thursday tragedy, as the scariest moments of his prison stay, adding that the security of the prisons came under direct threat.
He told this newspaper that on Friday, even the Prison Wardens as well as the other Joint Services ranks were scared while angry prisoners were running amok, casually breaking down buildings in the facility in protest over their dead colleagues.
“The only place they did not break was the strong cell that Cobra and dem deh in. If dey de come out was madness in hey,” the prisoner told this newspaper.
He said that he was recently committed to stand trial in the High Court and given the way things occur in Guyana, it is not likely that he will go to trial in less than two years.
“I have a long time before my trial come up and remaining in here in dis overcrowded place is like giving up your life,” the prisoner added.
According to another prisoner, who was in the Capital A Block shortly before the tragedy struck on Thursday, the prisoners who died were crying out for help as the fire raged through the building.
He said that he was among those inmates who were called out from the block while others refused to come out.
He said that minutes after he and others were confined to an area “downstairs”, he heard loud screaming for help.
“Like dey throw tear gas in de building and some of de men get blackout. Some who dead went in de toilet and they dead right in deh,” the prisoner told this newspaper.
Minister Ramjattan has announced a three-member Commission of Inquiry to look into the circumstances that led to the worst prison riots in Guyana’s history.
The panel includes former judge James Patterson, Human Rights Activist Merle Mendonca and former Director of Prisons Dale Erskine.
He had told members of the media last Thursday that the administration will be earnestly engaging the magistracy, judiciary and the DPP with a view to facilitating speedier trials to ease the overcrowding at the camp street prison.
He also gave a commitment to address the other grievances of the prisoners such as better meals and increasing the number of telephone calls they can make to their relatives.
According to the prisoner who spoke to this newspaper yesterday, the inmates seem to have managed to secure a good deal for themselves much to the annoyance of wardens, who now appear to be sitting back and allowing things to run its course.
He said that for yesterday, prisoners were surprised by bread and porridge for dinner, something that was unheard of in the past. Self support also resumed for prisoners whose relatives provide their meals.
However, he said that in this tense period after the riots, wardens should maintain their vigilance since things can get ugly again.
“After all, this is prison and people will always want their freedom,” the prisoners said.
Jan 28, 2021Kaieteur News – Banks DIH has partnered with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) to provide water and energy drinks to the Senior Men’s National Team as it prepares for 2022 FIFA World Cup...
Jan 28, 2021
Jan 28, 2021
Jan 28, 2021
Jan 28, 2021
Jan 27, 2021
Kaieteur News – There are four types of players in what I refer to as the Buxton mayhem – 2002 to 2006. One group... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]