by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Superintendent of Prisons at His Majesty’s Prison Service, Anguilla- Mr Carice T. Sasso, issued a statement on two incidents that occurred at the prison this week.
On Wednesday, January 11, a video circulated on social media showing an inmate on the roof of the prison, shirtless and making demands to speak to the Governor of Anguilla- Her Excellency Dileeni Daniel Selveratnam.
However, the head of the prison revealed what transpired on that day in a written statement.
“On Wednesday 11 January 2023, at approximately 3:30 pm, complaints about food preparation gave rise to protests by the inmates on one wing of the prison. During the course of the protest, a member of the kitchen staff was injured. The Superintendent of Prisons requested support from the Royal Anguilla Police Force. A team of officers was dispatched and assisted Prison officers in controlling the situation, which was brought under control by about 5:45 pm. To mitigate the risks, the population was placed under lockdown,” said Sasso.
Two days later, another video began to circulate, showing what appeared to be smoke emanating from the prison, raising questions of whether or not the situation was linked to the protest action staged days prior. Sasso, the Superintendent, also addressed the matter.
He said, ” On Friday, 13 January 2023 at approximately 9:50 am, an alarm sounded that there was a fire at one wing. In an immediate response, the Anguilla Fire and Rescue Services attended the prison to extinguish the fire. The Royal Anguilla Police Force assisted Prison officers in the evacuation of inmates from the affected wing and medical support was on site to conduct health checks. The fire was localised. The rest of the prison was unaffected and there were no injuries as a result of the fire. The prison population has been accounted for, and all inmates are secured and in safe custody.”
Her Excellency, the Governor of Anguilla, attended His Majesty’s Prison debrief on Friday, December 13, where she showed appreciation to the prison officers for their “responsive and collaborative efforts” in addressing the incidents.
The Governor’s Office also confirmed that Her Excellency -the Governor visited the inmates who were evacuated to the Royal Anguilla Police Force custody cells following the fire.
Investigations into the incidents are ongoing, and at present, visitation and rationing have been suspended for the general public until authorities are comfortable that those services can resume.