President must bring prison lawlessness to an end

Dear Editor,

The Indian Action Committee (IAC) is outraged and deeply disturbed at the photographs published in the local media recording dangerous prisoners at the New Amsterdam Prison enjoying themselves and brandishing bottles of expensive foreign liquor while appearing to smoke cigarettes and marijuana.

The IAC is of the strongest opinion that this lawlessness must be brought to an end immediately and is calling on President David Granger to ensure that all those persons responsible for permitting this egregious lawlessness must either be called upon to resign or be dismissed.

The IAC also believes that Minister of Public Security and Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan has proved himself to be incapable, inept and incompetent to carry out the political responsibility for the prison service and given the fact that the seventeen prisoners lost their lives at the Camp Street Prison in March 2016; the destruction of the Camp Street Prison with the loss of one Prison Officer in July 2017; the inadequate facilities followed by the escape of prisoners from the Lusignan Prison also in July 2017; and now this outrage at the New Amsterdam Prison in May 2018, all occurring under his watch, is enough basis for his immediate removal from this crucial position pertaining to the nation’s security.

The, IAC, therefore, is calling upon President David Granger to immediately request Minister Ramjattan to resign or failing which to dismiss him.

The IAC  is also of the belief that the Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels is also incapable of  administering the Prison System of Guyana and the organization is calling on President Granger to request his resignation or failing which to dismiss him.

The IAC is calling upon President Granger to investigate this matter thoroughly and identify all those prison officials culpable in allowing dangerous prisoners access to cellphones, alcohol, and narcotics and to place them before the courts.

The IAC recognizes that the Guyana Prison Service needs new, strong, strict and stern management now since prisons are places that require stiff discipline and, therefore, it may be necessary for the military to be brought in to ensure that order be restored to the prisons until a new cadre of responsible prison officers are trained.

Yours faithfully,

Saira Alli

Secretary/Coordinator

Indian Action Committee

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