Guyana: Prisoners set fire to Camp Street prison

The scene outside the Camp Street Prison last night. (source: kaieteurnewsonline)

Pandemonium broke out in the Capital Section A of the Camp street prison about 19:00hrs yesterday as a result of the desperate attempts by prisoners to air their grievances to the media.

As part of their ploy to get attention, they began to burn newspapers in the Capital Section Block ‘A’ of the prison, This resulted in officials from the Guyana Fire Service, armed prison officers and the Guyana Power and Light rushing to the scene.

While the fire, according to fire officers at the scene, could have been worse, they were able to extinguish it before it got out of control.

The Capital Section of the prison houses three blocks each of which has in excess of seventy prisoners, most were shouting their stories.

The prisoners’ complaints included, unfair and inhumane treatment by prison officials and some police ranks; some of whom they say are favoring some prisoners over others. Allegations include prison officers being paid to set prisoners up and cause fights among one another. “Dem does take out people from cells and let other prisoners beat them up in here.”

Some shouted their need for a more effective and efficient DPP as they labeled her as unfair in the execution of her job.

They also sought to clear the air about the alleged gang fight which led to the wounding of Romel Ross last week Friday during a similar riotous scenario.

As it relates to that issue, the prisoners at the top of their voices debunked the story of there being a gang war in the prison. “We ain’t got no gang war in here; some people got problems with one another but is not no gang thing.

Plus we ain’t do Romel nuttin.” They alleged that contrary to reports, “Romel was tekking advantage of a boy, and the boy deal with he case. That wasn’t no gang nothing. The boy get tired of he tekking away he things and deal with he case,” one prisoner shouted with full endorsement from other prisoners.

Another issue raised by the prisoners was that they are not being fed on time. “Since six we ain’t eat nothing.”
In their sharp boisterous swipes at the Director of Public Prosecution they proclaimed their innocence and accused the authorities of bias against them because of their financial and social standing.

“Nuff of we innocent in here, DPP giving big ones attention and she ain’t got no respect for people like we. Some of we in here for as much as six years and no trial. That ain’t fair cause we got families. She got them running up and down behind she and she can’t make up she mind what she doing with we.”

They are calling for intervention on their behalf. They want early trials and proper investigations to be done by police as opposed to “forcing people to sign statements admitting to things including murder that people ain’t do.”