Guyana’s opposition, People’s Progressive Party heaped criticism on the government in wake of Thursday’s protest inside the Camp Street jail which resulted in the deaths of 16 prisoners.
The prisoners died after setting fire to the capital offenses section of the jail.
In a statement hours after the incident as the situation remained tense, the PPP expressed “utter shock and horror at the tragedy”
The Party described the situation as a “virtual rebellion within the prison walls” and said it was the worst of its kind in recent history.
“The Granger-led administration must take full responsibility for this disaster”, the party said.
It also called on the government to establish a Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances that led to “this sorry state of affairs at the Georgetown Prisons”.
The Government announced that a Board of Inquiry would be set up at a Thursday press conference hosted by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan.
The unrest in the prison started late Wednesday and was reignited on Thursday following the seizure of 19 cellphones and a quantity of narcotics from prisoners by the prison authorities. The prison wanted the items back.
At least five other prisoners are nursing serious injuries. Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan described the situation as a “crisis”.
Under the PPP’s 23 years in office which came to an end last May, there were several unrests and murders in the same overcrowded camp street jail. There was also the deadly 2002 jailbreak at the same prison when five prisoners facing murder charges escaped and went on a criminal and murder rampage across the country for several months before they were all eventually killed.