The Parliamentary Opposition has submitted a motion to the National Assembly on the Camp Street fire and jailbreak and the subsequent developments.
The motion was submitted in the names of Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Members of Parliament, Anil Nandlall and Bishop Juan Edghill.
If the motion is approved by the Speaker of the House Dr Barton Scotland, it will pave the way for a national debate on the incident which has claimed the life of a prison officer and resulted in the overall escape of 19 criminals – 10 of which have been recaptured.
The motion seeks for full disclosure on a number of issues relating to the historic event including how was death row inmate, Royden Williams, free in the yard and able to walk out of the jail with the other escapees. Williams was one of the prisoners who succeeded in escaping and to date he remains at large.
The PPP has been very critical of the administration’s handling of the deadly unrest last year. PPP General Secretary and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has since blamed the government’s approach to last year’s situation for the disaster on July 9.
See below for all the queries included in the motion.
i) Why is there a discrepancy in the timeline of when the July 9th Fire and jailbreak began? What time were the prisoners seen leaving? Who made the sighting?
ii) How did the prisoners access the accelerants that started the fire? How soon will a report from the Guyana Fire Service on this matter be forthcoming?
iii) Why were the majority of Prison Officers on duty on Sunday (July 9, 2017) junior officers? Where were the senior Prison Officers? Why were women Prison Officers dealing with custodial duties?
iv) How was death row inmate, Royden Williams, free in the yard and able to walk out of the jail with the other escapees?
v) Is it true that the prisoners had the keys to individual cells and all cell blocks before the fire broke out? How was that possible?
vi) Gunshots were heard coming from the prison and firemen could not get into the prison due to the danger of being injured; did the prisoners have weapons and how did these come into their possession?
vii) Was the armory breached? How ? How many weapons are unaccounted for?
viii) When were The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) activated ? If the SOPs were activated why was the Fire Service the first alone to respond?
ix) Was the correct Alert Code given, as detailed in protocols, to the Disciplined Forces?
x) Why were there no roadblocks set up across the City, or along the ECD or EBD corridors in the hours and days immediately following the jailbreak?
xi) What was the nature of police action in Buxton, after reports of gunshots in the area on Sunday night ?
xii) How does the government plan according to the President to “immediately reduce the prison population”
xiii)Is there any truth to reports from inmates that there were attempts to warn Senior Prison officers since Friday July 7th, 2017?
xiv)It is clear that the July9th prison jailbreak and fire was well coordinated and executed. This took time to plan and put into operation. It required inside and outside help. How did the Prison officers, Joint Services etc., have no intelligence of something brewing?
xv) Can the government provide the public with a detailed breakdown of actual number of prisoners in Camp Street prison as of midday on July 9th and a breakdown showing the numbers accounted for and moved to other locations?
xvi) Having seen the deliberate setting of fires in the prison, who made the decision to move prisoners into the Prison Officers Club which was then subsequently set on fire and destroyed?
xvii) Why was the movement of prisoners on the night of July 9th carried out in such a reckless, disorganized and uncoordinated manner ?
xviii) Could the government state how many firemen and trucks, police and GDF officers and ranks including the SWAT, TSU and Riot Squad were called out and were physically present that night?