The families of the 17 prisoners who died during rioting at the Camp Street Prison last week held a candlelight vigil outside the jailhouse on Sunday evening, where they gathered in remembrance and to call for justice.
The vigil was held under heavy guard by the Guyana Defence Force in a cordoned area. The families gathered sang hymns and mournful tunes as they mourned those who perished in the riot.
The families of the dead prisoners gathered outside of the Prison where they held the candlelight vigil
Family of Delroy Williams, a murder accused, who perished in the fire, stated that they were at the vigil to express their hurt and concern at the death of one of two brothers. “We feel hurt, that is why we’re here tonight. We are doing this in peace and love,” Michael Williams, the brother of the deceased stated.
“We ain’t want no more killings in the prison! We want betterment for the prisoners. They under bad conditions and they said they want their voice to be heard and we want their voice to be heard. They ain’t getting proper food, they don’t have proper sleeping facilities for them, there are rats in the pots and the food that they eating and they want their voices to be heard. They did it for their rights,” he continued.
Williams’ mother explained that her other son, Leroy Williams is still in the prison and she is very concerned about him, while declaring her son’s innocence of the crime for which he is on remand.
The reputed wife of robbery accused Anthony Primo, who was before the Court for the America Street money changers’ robbery, explained that she was at home when she received the news of Primo’s death. “He was to go to court only Monday… he went on Tuesday, and Thursday he died,” the woman cried.
According to reports, the bodies of 16 prisoners were found in the ‘Capital A’ section of the Prison on Thursday morning. This section, located on the eastern section of the compound on John Street, holds prisoners on remand for or convicted of serious crimes.
The prisoners reportedly lit a series of fires on the previous night, and following morning in retaliation of contraband items including drugs and cellular phones being confiscated during a raid.
The prisoners removed the mattresses and put them in front of the grille of their cells before setting them afire.
Firefighters spent hours there, putting out at least three separate blazes on Wednesday evening. After they managed to put out the first fire, the angry inmates started another blaze at the same spot.
This fire too was successfully doused after about 15 minutes, much to the annoyance of the prisoners, who again lit another fire. The last inferno took fire-fighters approximately half hour to contain, close to midnight.
No one was injured during Wednesday night’s incident, but Thursday morning, the inmates continued the unrest within the confines of the penitentiary and some were injured.
The prisoners subsequently started yet another fire around 11:15h. While fire-fighters were able to put out that blaze, several inmates died and others were badly injured and rushed to the Hospital.