On Thursday, the artiste’s management shared with Urban Islandz exclusively that they were concerned and worried for the artiste, who was placed on indefinite lockdown since Tuesday by a superintendent at the Tower Street prison.
The deejay’s family claims that he is being punished with the draconian measure because two cell phones were found on the block where Kartel was being housed.
“Of the 1,700 inmate population housed at the tower street prison, [only] Kartel and two other men who are already on a security block in the middle of the prison were put on 23 hours locked down because 3 cell phones were allegedly found on the block. But strangely enough, in addition to the 100s of cell phones found daily at that institution, thousands at lockups across the island, the supt seems to have ill will against Kartel,” a spokesperson for the artiste said.
A family member, who declined to be named, also told Urban Islandz that the artiste suffers from a thyroid issue and his breathing is affected by the lockdown.
“He is forced to be locked down in a cell without proper ventilation all day in the summer heat with the dust and salt breeze from the nearby sea.”
Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, has been incarcerated since 2011. Late last year, he was transferred from the Horizon Remand Centre to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre.
His lawyer, Isat Buchanan, shared that he was aware of the situation and planned to approach the court for assistance on behalf of his client whose health has deteriorated behind bars.
“The concerns are two-fold. The Department of Corrections does not have adequate facilities to care for persons with ill health while incarcerated as a guest of the state,” a statement to Urban Islandz read.
“Mr. Palmer is under private treatment at his expense. It is within the knowledge of prison officials that his health is a concern. To be placed under a 23-hour lockdown as an appellant given the state of his health is most unfortunate. His medical condition requires access to clean air. Breathing is essential to life that is common sense. It is inhumane punishment [to] execute this form of punishment on Mr Palmer and others given the state of the prisons,” he added.
The Department of Corrections has not responded to concerns raised by the artiste’s management or family members.
Vybz Kartel is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, who prosecutors say was killed in 2011 over missing firearms. The dancehall legend is currently appealing the conviction and that appeal is currently pending in the UK’s Privy Council.