Guyana prisons, Police lock-ups life threatening – US report

first_imgGuyana has recently been flagged, in a human rights report prepared by the United States Department of State, over the conditions of its prison and lock-up facilities, which have been deemed “life threatening”. This is even as local authorities continue to grapple with issues regarding Guyana’s penal system.The 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices compiled by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor was released on Friday. It leads US’ efforts to promote democracy, protect human rights and international religious freedom, and advance labour rights globally.The Camp Street penitentiaryIn its profile on Guyana, the report cited that among the country’s most significant human rights issues are the “harsh and potentially life-threatening” prison conditions.However, it noted that Government officials do not enjoy impunity from human rights abuses, and there are independent and transparent procedures for handling allegations of abuse by security forces.Under the ‘Prison and Detention Center Conditions’, the state’s “Prison and jail conditions, particularly in police holding cells, were reportedly harsh and potentially life threatening due to gross overcrowding, physical abuse, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care”, the report outlined.It outlined that the Guyana Prison Service had reported back in September that there were 2,004 prisoners in five facilities with a combined design capacity of 1,179. As at July, a total of 1,018 prisoners were in Georgetown’s Camp Street Prison, a facility designed to hold only 550 inmates.“Overcrowding was in large part due to a backlog of pretrial detainees, who constituted approximately 30 percent of the total prison population.“In July, inmates at the Camp Street Prison were moved to Lusignan Prison after they rioted and started multiple fires that destroyed the prison. Prisoners reported unsanitary conditions and a lack of potable water. Prisoners also complained of lengthy confinement in their cells with limited opportunities for sunlight,” the report stated.It was recognised that while offenders 16 years and older were placed with the adult prison population, younger offenders were held in a juvenile correctional centre that offered primary education, vocational training, and basic medical care.The US report further highlighted that prisoners often circumvent procedures for submitting complaints of inhuman conditions or mistreatment by passing letters addressed to Government officials through family members. It added that authorities investigated and monitored prison and detention centre conditions, and committees prepared monthly reports on their visits.While Government has permitted outside groups to monitor prison conditions independently, there were no requests for such visits during last year.Further, the report went on to note that while authorities generally do not hold suspects in custody past the 72 hours’ detention period, except in capital offences and narcotics trafficking, they occasionally do not respect persons’ rights to “prompt access to a lawyer of their choice and to family members” which the law provides for criminal detainees.Another issue that the report highlighted was the long period of detention that defendants and accused face awaiting trial.“Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem, due primarily to judicial inefficiency, staff shortages, and cumbersome legal procedures. The average length of pretrial detention was three years for those awaiting trial at a magistrate’s court or in the High Court. This was often beyond the maximum possible sentence for the crime for which they were charged.With regard to ‘Denial of Fair Public Trial’, the report found that “Delays and inefficiencies undermined judicial due process. Shortages of trained court personnel, postponements at the request of the defence or prosecution, occasional allegations of bribery, poor tracking of cases, and Police sluggishness in preparing cases for trial caused delays.”The report also revealed that there were allegations of mistreatment of inmates by prison officials, as well as claims that Police abused suspects and detainees.Under the ‘Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ sub-heading, the report cited the Winston Carlos Haynes case, a former soldier of the Guyana Defence Force, who was accused of raping a minor in March last year. Haynes was fired and prosecuted in a civilian court for the offence. He was committed to stand trial in the High Court, but is out on bail.Moreover, there were no reports that the Government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. However, the report did mention the July 2017 fatal Police shooting of Charles Peters, a mentally ill man, whom they said was acting in a suspicious manner, and that he was killed as he reportedly attempted to escape custody. The August 2016 killing of Winston Hinds by Police was also mentioned. Police officials had claimed the measure was warranted within the circumstances, and no further action was taken, the report stated.last_img read more

Gunners boss reassures fans after Chelsea defeat

first_imgUnai Emery was keen to stress to Arsenal fans their current run of results are merely the start of a long process.The Spaniard accepted the daunting task of replacing Gunners stalwart Arsene Wenger after 22 years at the club in the summer, and has started his tenure with defeats from his opening two Premier League games. silverware gameday possible standings Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes ALTERED REVEALED “And also we need to continue doing today like the chances to score but also looking for these chances to score.”After losing their first London derby of the season, Emery must prep his troops for a tough looking tie against east London outfit West Ham United.Fellow new boss Manuel Pellegrini has also seen his side lose their opening two Premier League games.With the Hammers sitting bottom of the table, former Sevilla boss Emery knows his side have a fantastic chance to earn their first points of the season. NEW ERA How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Marcos Alonso scored the winner with ten minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Emery cut a frustrated figure on the Stamford Bridge bench After slipping to defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates, Chelsea were next to inflict a painful defeat on the Gunners.However, there was plenty of heart on display from the away side at Stamford Bridge and Emery was far from dismayed from what he saw.“I think this is our process,” he told Sam Matterface after the game.“And our process today, we will look at the positive things on the pitch we are pressing above all for one attacking moment. Latest Premier League News Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade smart causal He added: “Defensively at the moment I think we need also to continue to work because I think we need more time to be more compact on the pitch.“But it’s what we’ll work with every player on this time.“And also, this process, we play with two midfielders – one is 19, the other is 20 and I think for that we need to continue with passion, but working.“And we will in the next match against West Ham.” 2 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 2 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures REVEALED Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener last_img read more