Prison officials have reportedly been trying to subdue prisoners at His Majesty’s Prison (HMP) who had been threatening to riot as recently as last week. The inmates have been petitioning for better meals and living conditions.
It is alleged that prisoners have taken cell keys from prison officers and have opened the cells of other inmates. In response prison guards have attempted to use tear gas and rubber bullets to get the prisoners back into their cells.
However, Island Press Box (IPB) could not ascertain if those measures are working.
IPB has been unable to speak with an official on the matter. Calls to Jermaine Anthony, the Superintendent of Prisons went unanswered while we could only reach the voicemail of Steadroy Benjamin, the minister with responsibility for prisons in Antigua and Barbuda.
Meanwhile Bishop Browne, head of the Prison Visiting Committee who is responsible for overseeing the rights of prisoners, have refused to speak to other media personalities other than a reporter at Observer media.
He told IPB that he is only facilitating “one media engagement” and that “some people have people who they want to speak to” and that particular reporter is whom he gives interviews to.
He also said that our newsroom was free to get the recording from said reporter.
IPB will bring you more information as it become available.