Sixteen prisoners were shot and injured with rubber bullets and pellets, while others received minor injuries as law enforcement officers were used to employ force to quell riotous behaviour and fights at the Lusignan Prison this afternoon.
According to the Department of Public Information, the Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels 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 conduct which resulted in extreme disorder that threatened their own safety and that of the joint services team providing security.
Fearing that the behaviour could have escalated further and compromise the integrity of the facility, “as a last resort the use of force, including firearms, was required to restore order and maintain the integrity of the holding facility”, the statement said.
Sixteen prisoners were shot and are suffering from minor injuries, while another four suffered injuries as a result of fights among the prisoners. There were no deaths or escapes.
Three prisoners who suffered minor 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, according to the DPI.
None of those who were shot are, at this time, deemed to be in a life-threatening condition.
The Guyana Prison Service said it 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.