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$100K for dead prisoners’ relatives not a legal obligation – Pres Granger

Officers holding back crowds that had gathered at the Prison

Officers holding back crowds that had gathered at the Prison

While complaints from the families of the prisoners that died in the Camp Street Prisons continue pour in, President David Granger has stated that the Government was not legally required to provide relief to the families.

The Government through the Social Protection Ministry has promised $100,000 to the families of the 17 inmates that died in the fire. This amount however has been rejected by the family members.

One of the arguments presented against the $100,000 being given to the families is that the men were in the care of the State at the time of their deaths hence the state should bear all costs associated with their burial.

Questioned on Tuesday, President Granger said that the monies were “ex gratia” meaning that the payment was done from a sense of moral obligation rather than because of any legal requirement.

President David Granger speaking with the media.

President David Granger speaking with the media.

“This is an ex gratia payment, it’s a one of payment to bring relief to Guyanese citizens it’s not an obligation on our part but we want to make sure that children are in no way disadvantaged by what occurred,” the President noted.

Granger went on to say that the monies should not be seen as compensation, but rather as a form of relief for those affected.

“This is not a question of compensation this is a matter of relief and we understand the tragic circumstances under which people died last week and the government is attempting to assist the widows and the children,” said the President. (Jomo Brusheildon Paul)

  • Emile_Mervin

    Mr. Granger, for the people’s sake, don’t be this insensitive. These prisoners died on your government’s watch and all you can give towards burial is US$500? Why don’t you give each family US$5,000 as compensation, including burial?

    The Minister of Public Security and Minister of Social Cohesion (whatever that means) should be meeting with immediate relatives -parents or spouses/commonlaw/reputed or children – of the deceased the same way government met with prisoners.

    Put on a human face on this inhumane experience that saw an overpopulated prison where prisoners waiting inordinately long periods for trial were allowed by prison authorities to become a society within a society.

    • SYL

      I keep saying that you guys don’t get it.The Hon. President is correct. Its the lawless behavior that resulted in these people being in the jail in the first instant. Then they decided to burn the bed , how foolish can you be to protest by burning your bed.How the element that was used for burning got into the jail? Its another violation. How about the VICTIMS of the lawless acts that were committed by the accused ? Anyone taking those people into the equation? You live by the sword its always probable that you’ll die by the sword. Take the money and say thanks, because hard earn tax payers money has already been spent and lost, now the tax payers have to foot the bill to repair the prison .People must take responsibility for their acts and omissions.