Guyanese man dies in Barbados prison while on remand over COVID charges

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(Nation News) – Guyanese Businessman Hamenauth Sarendranauth, who fought to get bail on COVID-19 charges in Barbados, died on Tuesday – the day he was supposed to return to court.

Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, who filed the urgent bail application to get the first-time offender out of prison after he fell gravely ill while on remand, said the sad turn of events should signal the need for a gentler approach in the uncharted waters of COVID-19.

Sarendranauth was at the centre of a family battle with prison authorities after, while on remand at HMP Dodds, he was moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) unknown to his family, who found out two weeks later. His plight ignited public debate over the treatment of those who breached the COVID-19 directives, as Sarendranauth was initially remanded for a month pending sentencing.

The shop proprietor was initially taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital earlier in March after he was arrested and was granted $5,000 bail by the High Court on March 12, 2021.

Two of his fellow Guyanese nationals, also shop proprietors, who were remanded after flouting protocol rules as well, received bail by the High Court.

On February 17, the Guyanese businessman, who was operating in Barbados for more than 20 years, pleaded guilty to contravening the Emergency Management COVID-19 Protocols Special Curfew No. 3 Directive 2021, by being the owner of a non-essential service, failing to remain closed on February 14 and February 16. (AC)

Sarendranauth, who has uncontrollable diabetes, was scheduled to make his second District “A” Magistrates’ Court appearance on March 16. But before that, he was arrested again for the same offence.

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