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Deadly Prison Riot CoI ReportThough the riots at the Camp Street Prison lasted for three days in March, the terror of disorderly behaviour reigned until May where prisoners continued to threaten the lives of prison officers.This was highlighted in the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report into the deadly prison riots which claimed the lives of 17 inmates. Commissioners pointed out that during the March 2-4 riots, inmates were using “long heavy logs to break down the door” of a section of the Prison made of wood, which had housed the condemned and other prisoners.“During this entire time, the prisoners were demanding that President Granger come to speak with them in the Prison Yard,” the reportChief Fire Officer Marlon Gentlenoted.It was further pointed out that the Guyana Prison Service and Police Force attempted to control the situation but were unsuccessful in their attempts due to a “mass number of angry and violent inmates” who were threatening and advancing towards officers.“Tear smoke was used by the Police to disperse the mob but same was picked up by the prisoners and thrown back to the riot unit. ThisCamp Street penitentiarydazed the ranks and they began to retreat causing the defence to be weak,” the report pointed out.However, many prison officers in their testimonies to the CoI which ended on May 9, had denied ever seeing tear smoke being used during the ordeal.When Fire Chief Marlon Gentle was under cross-examination by attorney Glen Hanoman, he was questioned to disclose his knowledge of tear smoke canisters and whether they are “flammable or pyrotechnic”. Gentle had responded that, pyrotechnics were not his expertise. However, when he was later questioned by Commissioners, the Fire Chief had recalled incidents in the 1997 riots and onwards, where the canisters were used.The CoI report has also highlighted that instructions were indeed, given for the riot unit to use shotguns. Several rounds were discharged, “causing prisoners to be subdued”. It was stated that this is what led to the end of the three-day standoff.The CoI report continued: “The Police and Prison Officers then began taking control of the situation and started to lock the prisoners down back in the divisions and Holding Area. A physical check was made of all prisoners and the tally was found correct. During the incident a number of inmates were injured as well as officers and efforts were made to render medical assistance to them.”It was after these events that Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of State Joseph Harmon met with inmates at the Georgetown Prison Sports Club where a “gentleman’s agreement” was reached.In the aftermath of the three-day riots, Commissioners observed that: “prisoner’s discipline” had become “out of control”.“They literally took over the Prison Yard. A number of them were accused of walking with long sharpened instruments threatening officers, smoking marijuana openly and using their cell phones in officers’ presence,” an excerpt of the report revealed.“Prison Officers were prevented from retrieving [mobile phones] as prisoners with sharpened instruments threatened them and retrieved the parcels. Many officers reported sick, making the prison vulnerable to major security breaches. An emergency Joint Services meeting was held by his Excellency, President Granger who directed that order must be maintained within the Georgetown Prison…normalcy was restored when a Joint Services Operation Restore Order was done to search the entire prison and transfer ringleaders on May 14, 2016.”The Commission observed that “serious psycho-social trauma” can arise from the incidents surrounding the riots and have recommended grief counselling for staff, inmates and their families.“From evidence from both prisoners and officers many were observed to be highly traumatised by the events of both March 3 & 4, 2016,” the CoI report noted.When Chief Prison Officer Roddey Denhart testified on April 28, he disclosed that one prison officer was “chocked and robbed” in the compound of the Georgetown penitentiary. He had also testified that another inmate placed an improvised weapon, a spear, on the chest of another warden.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said Jamaica was proud to lead the efforts. Daily,young girls and boys are torn from the bosom of their families and forced to perform unspeakable acts. The Prime Minister also revealed that Jamaica is in support of the call for an international discussion on the question of reparations. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has called on countries to unite in their efforts to end human trafficking.Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was addressing the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on September 28, said the issue is of paramount concern.She said she was particularly moved by the knowledge that daily, young girls and boys are torn from the bosom of their families, taken to strange lands, placed in sub-human conditions and forced to perform unspeakable acts.“We must unite in our efforts to eliminate this transnational scourge and bring an end to human trafficking, particularly among our women and children. We must ensure that in this modern time we do not have a re-enactment of slavery. We must stamp it out, wherever it exists, and bring the perpetrators to justice; we must protect the future generations. Never again should anything resembling slavery be tolerated anywhere,” Mrs. Simpson Miller told the General Assembly.In the meantime, the Prime Minister also revealed that Jamaica is in support of the call for an international discussion, in a non-confrontational manner, on the question of reparations.Mrs. Simpson Miller said Jamaica was proud to lead the efforts, in collaboration with CARICOM countries and members of the African Union, to have the Permanent Memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade erected at the UN.She noted that the unveiling of the winning design, which was done earlier in the week, “signals an important chapter in our journey to honour the memory of the millions of men and women who were subject to untold atrocities.”She thanked those who contributed generously to the project and urged the international community to continue to provide financial support for the initiative.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMexico, June 22, 2017 – Cancun – Wednesday 21 June was the final day of the 47th OAS General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico and Hon. Darren Henfield, Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs (left), took the opportunity to meet one on one with host Foreign Minister H. E. Luis Videgaray of Mexico. The Ministers discussed the problem of preserving correspondent banking relations in the face of de-risking, strengthening diplomatic relations and candidatures. Related Items:
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, January 23, 2018 – Nassau – Preliminary estimates indicate that more than 13,000 cubic yards of debris was removed from the Bain and Grants Town community during the first two days of the Over-the-Hill Clean-up and Bulk Waste Removal Campaign. The campaign began on Friday and ramped up its operation on Saturday. Some of the work had to be completed on Sunday.Officials from the Economic Development and Planning Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Department of Environmental Health Services and The Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority – who combined their resources and assets to make the campaign happen — say the figure equates to the size of six full-length football fields.“So far everyone has done an excellent job in making Phase One of this initiative a success,” Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Director of the Economic Development and Planning Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister said.“Want to thank everybody who have been out here working – DEHS, Beaches and Parks Authority, all of the workers from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) who have really been executing a tremendous work in executing the first phase of this cleanup.“The cooperation from residents has been outstanding. Community cooperation/effort has been amazing. The residents got notification of this exercise well ahead of time, there was good communication around it, and so residents were well-prepared, they put their waste out as instructed and our facilitators were able to come by with the trucks and manual labour to take the debris out.”Dr. Rolle praised the partnership between the three government agencies/departments. The bulk waste removal and management of the heavy equipment used was done through the Department of Environmental Health Services while employees of The Bahamas Public Beaches and Public Parks Authority took care of the manual work.“The work over this first phase entailed cleaning down lots, bulk waste removal such as the removal of stoves, refrigerators, etcetera,” Dr. Virgill-Rolle said. “ We have also been removing derelict vehicles as well. Where persons have given permission to remove vehicles, they have been taken out of area as well.”Mr. Kemi Jones, Project Manager for the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative of which the Clean-up and Bulk Waste Removal Campaign is but one pillar, said the focus of Phase One of the Clean-up focused on the areas north of Meadow Street, and north of Ross and Gibbs Corners. Officials will focus on the areas next weekend going back to areas south of Meadow Street and Ross and Gibbs Corners, as far south as Wulff Road and Poinciana Drive the weekend of January 26-28 during Phase Two.“It’s a massive area, but we are working hard and doing our best to impact as many lives as possible and get it done correctly, “Mr. Jones said. “One of the six pillars of the Over-the- Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative talks about rejuvenation, so this cleanup effort is focusing specifically on getting the trash, bulk waste and derelict vehicles out of the area and then once we have done that, in February residents will witness the launch of our painting programme where we are actually trying to put a new face on the entire community.Mr. Jones said empowering residents is another key component of the Initiative.“Some of the educational initiatives we have planned for the month of February involve training persons in the communities as to how they can take lessons learnt from these cleanup initiatives and turn them into businesses – how to become a landscaper; how to use their trucks and turn it into a commercial enterprise, teaching them how to become entrepreneurs.“In talking to the residents, many of them have very good intentions and many of them want to see the area cleaned and to remain clean, but they just needed a jumpstart, that injection. You would be surprised how an injection of capital can lead to further things, such as taking the funds they earned today and buying a lawnmower with which they can start their own landscaping business for example,” Mr. Jones added.By: Matt Maura (BIS)Photo Captions:Header: Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis (second right) tours the cleanup area on Saturday accompanied by (from left) Joshua Sears, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister; Travis Robinson, member of Parliament, Bain and Grants Town; Melanie McKenzie, Director, Department of Environmental Health Services and at far right, Shanandon Cartwright, Chairman, The Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)Insert: Debris being piled onto a heavy duty truck for transport to the public dump as part of the Over-the-Hill Clean-Up and Bulk Waste removal Campaign which got underway Friday, January 19, 2018 in the Bain and Grants Town Community. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith) Related Items: