TCI News

TCI: Breakthrough for inmate after peaceful protest gets the wheels of justice ‘properly’ turning

Grand Turk, March 29, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – The announcement of an investigation of the weekend incident at Her Majesty’s Prison which resulted in an inmate and two officers having to be treated at hospital was welcomed, but many criticized the official statement as being biased toward the prison guards.

The pair of prison officers was praised and thanked while the man who accused them of abuse was chastised and not even interviewed by the Prison Superintendent, Grahame Hawkings before the media statement was issued.

Today, that man again protested and climbed to the roof of the facility in Grand Turk demanding to give his account of the incident last Friday night to Police.

Human Rights Commission Director, Sabrina Green told us today that she is closely monitoring the matter and is in communication with authorities.

“The statement issued by the Officials was premature.”

Green believes their comments were too conclusive and were made without the balance and insight that only a proper investigation would have unearthed.

“It was my advice today that the young man be allowed to speak to the Police; to give his side of the story.  An investigation should include facts coming from as many that were involved in the situation.”

Inmates are also disappointed in the statement which came on Tuesday and joined today in the protest, which was generally peaceful.

The inmate last Thursday threatened a hunger strike and made serious allegations by naming officers he labelled as ‘corrupt’.  Two videos were shared on social media over the course of the weekend.   The man was moved to maximum security and was visited by a senior prison officer and another who claimed to be on the hunt for a cell phone; cell phones for inmates are banned at the facility.

The attempt to search turned into a squabble where the inmate was bruised and the officers claimed a cleaning solution was thrown into their eyes. Photographs of the gashes on the inmates’ leg and hand were shared, again on social media.

Residents were outraged and called for the intervention of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). 

On Tuesday, the Director and a staffer of the HRC visited the inmate and Ms. Green informed Magnetic Media that she spoke, via telephone, with the young man today.

It was said that the Police are due to take an official statement from the inmate in question and witnesses tomorrow, Friday March 29, 019. 

The Prison Visiting Committee is also due at the facility tomorrow.

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