T&T prisoners riot

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, August 31, 2006 – Prisoners at the Golden Grove Remand Prison in Arouca, Trinidad yesterday burnt newspapers and smashed light bulbs in protest of apparent crowded cells and brutality by prison officers.

The protest began following an attempt by prison guards to search for prohibited items like drugs and cell phones. The disturbance in the north wing of the prison, home to about 200 inmates, began around 10 a.m., according to Trinidad media reports. The fracas forced prison officials to lock down the penitentiary while a contingent of Guard and Emergency police officers were called in.

The officers, clad in riot gear and armed with assault rifles and tear gas, however, did not enter and left within ten minutes of their arrival as Prison Commissioner John Rougier and his officers choose to handle the situation themselves.

The protest comes months after a similar at the jails used to house prisoners awaiting trial at the Port of Spain Magistrate’s court and more than a year since the deadly Barbados prison riots.

There were no reports of injury yesterday.

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