September 25, 2016

Families of dead prisoners call for independent CoI body

– $100,000 given to relatives to assist with funeral expenses
Family of the 17 prisoners who died during the Camp Street Prison unrest, are calling for an independent

Some relatives of the dead prisoners gathered outside the Prison Officers Hall where the meeting was held on Monday

Some relatives of the dead prisoners gathered outside the Prison Officers Hall where the meeting was held on Monday

Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones.
The Commission will be led by former Justice James Patterson and will include Merle Mendonca of the Guyana Human Rights Association and former Director of Prisons Dale Erskine.
These sentiments were expressed following a meeting between the families of the deceased and the Guyana Prison Services.
In an interview with Guyana Times Lisa Eastman, a relative of Aaron Eastman, one of the dead prisoners, stated she is of the opinion that an independent body should be conducting the inquiry to the uprising, as she has no confidence in the chosen commissioners.
“They didn’t even have a proper discussion with us… they tried. I think they were just trying to placate people but I think they just made matters worse,” the woman stated. She further added she is desirous of seeing a proper and detailed investigation into the matter being launched, adding “If they’re really serious, they are going to change that CoI panel.”
The families related that thus far, they have identified their loved ones, and are in the process of making funeral arrangements. They further related that during this meeting, it was revealed that the government is providing the families with $100,000 to assist with the funeral expenses.
However, these families are dissatisfied with the outcome of the meeting. The mother of Delroy Williams, a murder accused, who perished in the flames, stated that the government intervention is not substantial and as such she is dissatisfied. “They say if we need the body, they just going to give us $100,000 but that $100,000 can’t bring back a life. I already lost my son and nothing can bring him back right now. And I have another son in there, and when I go to see him this morning he can’t even talk to me when I talk to him,” the mother related. She explained that her other son Leroy Williams, a murder accused, is still in prison.
“Like he leff shock. I want justice… right now my other son needs to see a doctor,” the woman revealed.
However, Chairman of the Guyana Prison Services RK Chand has stated that the injured prisoners are being tended by medical practitioners, and their concerns are being addressed.
It was further revealed that the prisoners are being held at different station lock-ups at the moment, and they have been provided with proper necessities such as food and clothing.
However, the families remain firm they want to meet with President David Granger to discuss the issue.

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