Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Relatives: Probe jail killings


RELATIVES of the six prisoners from Baisu jail in Western Highlands shot dead by Correctional Services officers last Friday have demanded an immediate investigation into the killings, The National reports.
Relatives of three prisoners from Enga allegedly killed by warders during a breakout told The National yesterday that they wanted nothing less.
They said the escapees, who dashed for freedom, were not armed and did not attack the guards or Correctional Services officers at that time.
They said the prisoners escaped in fear of their lives because the management of the jail had failed to address a deteriorating health situation at the jail, where three prisoners from Enga had died of an illness not yet identified.
Many others have become seriously ill with this illness.
Saku Luke, an elder brother of Larson Kandaki, one of the prisoners from Laiagam district who was shot dead, said he was not happy to see a bullet smash his brother’s head.
He said his brother was only 24 years old, not married and was remanded at Baisu jail for three months and two weeks over a suspected murder case.
He said his brother was not a convicted prisoner, or a criminal, and did not deserve to die in such a manner.
“We are not happy about this and we will not forget,” Saku said.
He questioned why they shot him in the head, when the correction officers should have tried to shoot him and the others in their legs or arms.
The prisoners, from Enga who died from the unidentified illnesses and those shot dead, would not have met their fate had the Mukurumanda prison in their own province was up and running.
Early this year, Justice Graham Ellis told the provincial government and the Department of Correctional Services to build the jail at Mukurumanda and keep all Enga prisoners there so they would not be taken to Baisu.
The judge’s advice fell on deaf ears.

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