24 Aug 2011

Vanuatu prison guard faces disciplinary action after unreasonable force incident

2:22 pm on 24 August 2011

A Vanuatu prison guard at the high risk facility dubbed Container City will be disciplined for using unreasonable force on inmates.

The Justice Minister attended a meeting with the inmates of the Port Vila prison on Monday after they refused to re-enter their cells until they were permitted to discuss the incident with the authorities.

Ralph Regenvanu says the inmates alleged the officer had used more force than is legally permitted with a couple of them.

"We recognise that there was probably truth in the allegations and as a result of that we've just transferred that officer out of that facility to another one as a short-term interim measure to just satisfy the grievances and then there will be the normal disciplinary process that is followed in the public service will be entered into also."

Ralph Regenvanu says the underlying issue is the need to finish building a new prison, something he hopes will be done by early next year.

He says in the meantime transferring Container City's remaining six to eight inmates to other prisons is being considered.