Prisoners to benefit for rescuing guards

Com­mis­sion­er of Pris­ons Ger­ard Wil­son on Thurs­day met with sev­en in­mates who pro­tect­ed a group of pris­ons of­fi­cers who were un­der at­tack from oth­er in­mates at the Gold­en Grove Re­mand Yard in Arouca.

Their ac­tions were not­ed and will be pre­sent­ed for con­sid­er­a­tion when their sen­tenc­ing is to be made by the re­spec­tive judges in their mat­ters.

Wil­son spoke briefly with Guardian Me­dia on Thurs­day.

The Com­mis­sion­er was at the time meet­ing with the in­mates one and one as he com­mend­ed them for their quick and prompt ac­tion.

Two of the in­mates were iden­ti­fied as an “Imam” and an­oth­er who is charged for a high-pro­file case, the Dr Ed­die Khoury mat­ter, cur­rent­ly be­fore the High Court.

Wil­son al­so con­firmed that fol­low­ing the fra­cas that broke out on Wednes­day at about 10 am ten prison of­fi­cers sought med­ical at­ten­tion at the hos­pi­tal. He added that four of them sus­tained mi­nor bruis­es.

“The of­fi­cers are quite shak­en up, but I am thank­ing the in­mates for step­ping in and do­ing what they did to pro­tect the of­fi­cers,” Wil­son said.

How­ev­er, Wil­son has al­so launched his in­ves­ti­ga­tion as to what took place at the prison where a search was be­ing car­ried out in the ab­sence of the pris­on­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion reach­ing Guardian Me­dia, there was sched­uled spray­ing for mos­qui­toes and in­sects in the South and North Wings of the re­mand yard.

Over 200 in­mates were sent out for air­ing dur­ing this time.

Af­ter the spray­ing ex­er­cise was con­clud­ed, a group of about 40 masked of­fi­cers made their way in­to the North Wing block where they con­duct­ed search­es.

A se­nior pris­ons of­fi­cer, who wished not to be iden­ti­fied de­scribed this search as “il­le­gal” and fur­ther ex­plained that in any raid in­mates are sup­posed to be present and be­fore a search is con­duct­ed to se­cure their re­spec­tive re­li­gious books, court doc­u­ments and clothes.

“This did not hap­pen, and the in­mates were out in air­ing when they re­alised what was hap­pen­ing and that caused a bit of a chaot­ic scene where they be­gan to throw mis­siles, plant pots at the of­fi­cers and tried to get in­to the area to at­tack the of­fi­cers,” the se­nior of­fi­cer said.

“But that was when this oth­er group of in­mates chose to sac­ri­fice their safe­ty to form a hu­man bar­ri­cade to pro­tect these of­fi­cers even though the ex­er­cise that they were do­ing was ques­tion­able. The in­mates said that they saw hu­mans in dis­tress and had to re­act to pro­tect them from harm. It is be­lieved that a bloody scene, maybe dead­ly at­tack was avert­ed by the good and quick think­ing of these in­mates,” the of­fi­cer added.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, Wil­son vis­it­ed the prison on Wednes­day where he spoke to in­mates.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing.

- by Rhondor Dowlat

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