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We are in a better position says the Public Security Minister as prison unrest continues

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Conditions of the prison, more phone calls per week to loved ones, length of detention period and treatment by officers of the prison are some of the grievances raised by inmates at Camp Street jail.

Another protest by inmates early Friday morning resulted in the prison being locked down since they became disorderly, even kicking out the walls of the wooden section of their cells demanding to meet with the Public Security Minister.

Members of the Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defense Force swarmed the premises of the jail to provide additional security as authorities maintained some level of calm.

“It’s always good to talk to people…I want to hear from them” said Vice President and  Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan while making his way to the Prison Officers Sports Club opposite the jail.

Ramjattan along with Minister of State, Joseph Harmon held an almost hour long meeting with the prison inmates who seemed to be behind the unrest. This is the third day that the prisoners have been protesting what they call inhumane treatment and conditions at the jail.

The Public Security Minister having hearing the concern of the inmates said his government will try to address some of the concerns raised. “Those matters that can be dealt with…we are gonna deal with them almost forthwith” Ramjattan told members of the media.

He did stress that it was not time bound, “we didn’t give any time frame” and he would want the “prisoners to give evidence of what is happening”.

The Minister also assured that “they (inmates) have promised that they’re gonna clam down now that they have seen two senior members of government because that is what they wanted.”

State Minister, Joseph Harmon acknowledged that government will keep their side of the deal with the prisoners saying it would ease the situation a bit.

“We very confident that what has happened will aid in the security arrangement in the Prison…as a government we have to ensure that they are certain minimum standards which must be met…we will do all as a government to ensure that the prisoners live in a “humane” environment where prisoners are comfortable” added Minister Harmon.

A three-person panel is expected to carry out a full inquiry into the almost three-day protest at the Georgetown prison during whhere 17 inmates lost their lives in a fire on Thursday (March 3, 2016).

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