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Baton-sodomy: Prison officers allegedly invaded ward and scuffled with Harding

FLASH BACK: Ordinary Guyanese and members of civil society organisations earlier this week in a solidarity protest outside the GPHC where Colwyn Harding was warded.

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Friday said it was probing a complaint that a number of prison officers Thursday went into the ward and wrestled a cellular phone from the man who has accused police of sodomizing him with a baton.

A hospital official would only say that the health care institution was aware of a report and was investigating the incident.

Nurses told Demerara Waves Online News that the incident occurred about 8:20 Thursday night while two of their colleagues were dressing 23-year old Colwyn Harding.

Harding and the nurses confirmed that during the scuffle, his sutures (stitches) began loosening and caused bleeding.

They said the members of the Guyana Prison Service of barging into the ward and shoving them aside in an effort to seize a cellular phone from the man who was under guard by another prison warden.

Although the nurses insisted that they were dressing the patient and they (the prison service members) could not have been in there, they were in and out until one on each side of the bed held his hands down.

The two nurses, who were dressing the patient at the time, have since given statements that have been forwarded to the relevant authorities.

Harding showed Demerara Waves Online News a small incision to his right palm that was caused when one of the officers was digging out the phone from his clenched fist.

One of the prison personnel, he said, went to his bedside asking what he was doing with the cellular phone after a charger and an earpiece were seen. “I said don’t care what you do at this hour of the night I am not handing over this cell phone to any prison officer. He started to tell me that I am still a prisoner and I am not supposed to have a cell phone,” Harding said, saying he had preferred to hand over the phone to a nurse or his mother.

He recalled being told that since he was an inmate in the custody of the prison service, he could not have a cellular phone in his possession. That appeared to contradict the fact that the court had earlier this week ordered that he be released on his own recognisance since he could not have posted GUY$50,000 bail for assaulting a peace officer. He was, however, only unshackled at 2:38 PM Friday afternoon when a senior prison officer visited him.