Former Judge to chair CoI into Camp Street unrest

Last Updated on Friday, 4 March 2016, 17:38 by Denis Chabrol


Officials at the Press Conference on FridayEven as police still cordon off the area surrounding the Georgetown, Camp Street prison, the APNU+AFC administration has convened a commission of Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the prison unrest that saw 17 prisoners being

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Friday afternoon revealed that the Commission will be led by former Justice James Patterson and will include Merle Mendonca of the Guyana Human Rights Association and former Director of Prisons Dale Erskine.

The Commission has been constituted to enquire into all the “causes, circumstances and conditions” surrounding the death of 17 prisoners from the Camp Street Prison.

The inquiry will also investigate the nature of all the injuries sustained by prisoners during the three day unrest.

The Commission will also determine whether the deaths of the 17 prisoners were as a result of “negligence, abandonment of duty, disregard for instructions or inaction of the prison officers.”

The Commission is set to commence its work on March 7, 2016, the first report is expected to be delivered by March 15.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan revealed that 47 prisoners have since been transferred to the Timehri Prison until such time that repairs have been effected at the Prison.

He officially identified the 17 persons who were killed during the unrest.

They have been named as Reyand Paddy, Andre Phillander, Jermain Otto, Kirk Clarke, Aaron Eastman, Anthony Premo, Astraf Ally, Amos Hilary, Rohan Teekeram, Richard Hubbard, Randolph Marques, Clifton Joseph, Shaka McKenzie, Latchman Pertap, Sherwin Trotman, Delroy Williams and Chitram Dharandat.

It should be noted that the majority of inmates that were killed were incarcerated in 2015 with one being incarcerated in 2008, two in 2011, and three in 2014.

Twelve out of the 17 persons were charged with murder, one with rape murder, one for possession of ammunition and three others for robbery related crimes.

Some 5 police officers were also injured during Friday morning’s unrest.

Meanwhile, State Minister Joseph Harmon revealed that the Ministry of Social Protection is making preparations to assist families with the burial of the dead prisoners. (Jomo Brusheildon Paul)