Four sus­pected over nude pic of es­capee

Stabroek News - - FRONT PAGE -

Four sus­pects have been iden­ti­fied in the leak­age of a nude photo of re­cap­tured con­vict Mark Roy­den Wil­liams which was taken while he was be­ing pro­cessed on Mon­day at the Camp Street Prison, Act­ing Prison Direc­tor Glad­win Sa­muels said last night.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is ac­tive. There are sus­pects. [We are] work­ing to nar­row [them] down”, he told Stabroek News.

A nude pho­to­graph of Wil­liams, with his hands hand­cuffed and feet shack­led, was posted on Face­book on Tues­day. In the photo, Wil­liams is seen hold­ing a bot­tle of wa­ter over his pri­vates. It is un­clear when the pho­to­graph was taken.

Sa­muels made it clear that the pho­to­graph was in­tended for up­dat­ing records per­tain­ing to iden­ti­fi­ca­tion marks. Wil­liams has count­less tat­toos about his body.

“That for some strange rea­son was not re­spected which re­sulted in the out­ward cir­cu­la­tion of the re­stricted photo”, he said.

It was pointed out by ob­servers that the pho­tograph­ing of his body should not re­quire Wil­liams to be in the pose that he was pho­tographed in. The dis­tri­bu­tion of the pho­to­graph is a gross vi­o­la­tion of the pris­oner’s rights and of­fend­ing of his dig­nity. In 2009, a boy tor­tured in a po­lice sta­tion was sim­i­larly pho­tographed, most likely by his tor­tur­ers, and the pho­to­graph cir­cu­lated.

Ear­lier in the day at a press con­fer­ence hosted by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Khem­raj Ram­jat­tan, Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner David Ram­nar­ine while ex­press­ing his con­cern at the leak­age of the photo made it clear that the photo was taken dur­ing Wil­liams’ in­ter­view at the prison. He ex­plained that once taken there, a di­rec­tive was given for his cloth­ing to be re­moved so that the tat­toos he had about his body could have been pho­tographed. “Some in­sen­si­tive, ir­re­spon­si­ble per­son de­cided to do just more than that”, he said, adding that Sa­muels has con­firmed that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been launched.

Guyana Po­lice Force Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Shivper­saud Bac­chus, in a state­ment hours after the photo went vi­ral said even though the strip­ping of in­mates is done for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pur­poses, such as to doc­u­ment dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures like tat­toos, the leak­ing of the photo can­not be con­doned.

Bac­chus said the “grossly un­eth­i­cal, ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­sen­si­tive” act was com­mit­ted within the prison en­vi­ron­ment dur­ing the pe­riod when Wil­liams was be­ing pro­cessed and prior to his place­ment in a cell.

Wil­liams, known as ‘Smallie,’ was in­ter­cepted and re­cap­tured at around 8pm on Mon­day by the po­lice along the Wel­daad, West Coast Ber­bice Pub­lic Road.

The po­lice had said that at the time he was trav­el­ling in a pub­lic minibus head­ing east. He was alone and un­armed.

Wil­liams was seen as the most dan­ger­ous of the prison­ers who es­caped from the prison on July 9. The prison was al­most gut­ted and a prison of­fi­cer killed. He had been sen­tenced to death ear­lier in the year over the 2007 Bar­tica mas­sacre.

Mark Roy­den Wil­liams

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