Over 139 foreigners incarcerated in T&T’s prisons have ended their hunger strike after they finally got a hearing from their respective embassy officials.
Guardian Media was told that 96 of them are remanded prisoners while 43 of them are convicted prisoners.
A prison source said, “The foreigners took the hunger strike more seriously than the local remand prisoners and would have protested to meet with their embassy officials almost every day of their hunger strike. Now that they got what they wanted, they are satisfied and have discontinued with the strike.”
The prison source added that local remand prisoners’ attempt at a similar activity had fallen through and was described as a “failed attempt, generally.”
In a statement announcing the hunger strike on September 16, the prisoners protested for speedy trials for those accused of murders; reasonable bail for petty offenders; the immediate release of all remanded inmates from Building 13 at the Maximum Security Prison (MSP); clothing and medication requests from their respective family members and a full-scale investigation into the alleged government involvement in obtaining and torturing remanded prisoners housed at building 13 (MSP). The statement, which was believed to have been prepared by a group of inmates, claimed that Building 13 is an “inhumane enclosed environment perfect for the breeding of the COVID-19.”
When contacted on the issue, acting Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan said that he had no problem with embassy officials visiting the remanded foreigners and would “gladly welcome them to meet with them as there is nothing to hide.”