Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels late this afternoon confirmed that at approximately 16:20hrs today inmates at the holding area of the Lusignan Prison were involved in a series of assaults and aggressive behaviour which resulted in extreme disorder and threatened their own safety, that of the joint services members providing security and could have escalated further and compromise the integrity of the facility.
A statement from the Department of Public Information this evening said that as a last resort the use of force, including firearms, was required to restore order and maintain the integrity of the holding facility.
Sixteen prisoners were shot and suffered minor gunshot injuries and another four suffered injuries as a result of fights among the prisoners. There were no deaths or escapes, the statement said.
Three prisoners who suffered gunshot wounds and two who suffered injuries as a result of fights were taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation for treatment while the others were being treated on site at the Lusignan Prison Infirmary.
None of those who were shot are, at this time, deemed to be in a life-threatening condition, the statement added.
The Guyana Prison Service regrets that this course of action had to be taken but was left with no other option given the extreme disorder which broke out in the holding area and the refusal of the prisoners to heed the commands of the officers to desist, the statement added.
Today’s disturbances underline the major crisis that has gripped the prison system under the APNU+AFC administration. On July 9th the Camp Street prison was burnt down by prisoners and several escapees remain on the run.
On July 24th, thirteen prisoners tunnelled out of a temporary holding area at Lusignan and several of them are still on the loose.