One of Australia’s most at-risk prisoners is calling for New South Wales’ toughest jail to be closed for exposing inmates to cruel and inhuman punishment.
Bassam Hamzy, the 45-year-old founder of the infamous Brothers 4 Life gang, represented himself in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday after launching civil action against the Commissioner of Correctional Services.
It claims conditions inside Goulburn Supermax, a maximum security prison within Goulburn Correctional Centre, breach New South Wales law.
Hamzy recalled harrowing incidents of self-harm, suicide and segregation within the prison that he said “can reasonably be expected to negatively impact” the physical and mental health of inmates.
Bassam Hamzy (pictured), the 45-year-old founder of the infamous Brothers 4 Life gang, wants the Goulburn Supermax prison to be closed
Hamzy claims Supermax (pictured) has exposed inmates to cruel and inhuman punishment after he allegedly witnessed several incidents of self-harm and suicide involving other inmates.
In handwritten documents, Hmazy asked the court to declare Supermax in breach of NSW regulations and order it to be “closed or brought into compliance with the law”.
He presented a list of incidents ‘in relation to (himself)’ which he believed were detrimental to his mental health, including a prisoner setting fire to his own cell.
“When an inmate next door commits suicide, that has an impact on me,” Hamzy told the Supreme Court. news.com.au reported.
“When an inmate sews his lips shut or puts feces all over his body, that shocks me.”
The Supermax, officially called the High Risk Management Centre, is known for housing some of New South Wales’ most dangerous criminals, including terrorists and murderers.
The Supermax (pictured), officially called the High Risk Management Centre, is known for housing some of the most dangerous criminals in New South Wales.
James Emmett SC, representing the commissioner, urged the court to refuse Hamzy’s application as the issues relating to other inmates were not intended as punishment.
The court also heard that Hamzy has collected statements from inmates, including gangster killer Naseam El-Zayat and an old affidavit from former Bandidos biker Kon Georgiou.
He claims he attempted to gather more affidavits from other inmates, but staff had used his status as a high-risk inmate to prevent him from speaking to “willing witnesses.”
Hamzy’s list of potential witnesses included Brothers 4 Life-linked hitman Conrad Craig.
“I already know what they’re going to say,” Hamzy said of the witnesses.
“I have lived their experiences and I know their experiences.”
Hamzy has been jailed since 1999 after he was arrested and convicted of shooting dead a Sydney nightclub patron in 1998.
He has also faced accusations of running a drug ring from behind bars at the Supermax prison.
Hamzy is also seeking to have the court declare that a 2022 decision to deny him telephone contact with his lawyer was an abuse of power.
On Tuesday, Hamzy asked the commissioner to file Supermax incident reports.
The matter will return to court at a later date.
Hamzy claims Supermax staff have prevented him from speaking to other ‘willing witnesses’, including Brothers 4 Life-linked hitman Conrad Craig (pictured)