Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has contradicted a report by the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), which accused the government of not honouring its promise to take steps to reduce the spread of covid19 behind bars by releasing non-violent offenders.
Al-Rawi, in response, denied the claims of the report and said that government had already secured the release of hundreds of inmates and said the information was provided in a release from his ministry.
Al-Rawi said he was surprised to see the report, as he said “I had not received an ounce of correspondence as far as I’m aware from these people asking me a question. Yet it appears that they make submissions purporting these submissions are fact, and I’m a little surprised.”
The AG told Newsday that the release of prisoners fell under a number of different heads.
He said for starters, they went to the courts, via the Public Defender’s Division and secured releases, then via an exercise of the powers by the Commissioner of Prisons, several hundreds of people were released as well.
Thirdly, he said the matters that are before the Mercy Committee have to now be dealt with by documentation coming forward there.
“So we’ve dealt with it in three separate pots, and we are into hundreds of people.
He urged people not to make statements without checking the facts.