Protests against Minister Dharamlall continue as concern mounts over Police investigation of rape allegations

Protests against Minister Dharamlall continue as concern mounts over Police investigation of rape allegations

With reports surfacing today that the 16-year-old girl who made the rape and sexual assault allegations against Government Minister Nigel Dharamall, was taken back to the place of the alleged crime while the accused Minister was there, protests continued outside the office of the president with mounting calls for a thorough probe.

Opposition Member of Parliament and Attorney-at-law, Amanza Walton-Desir said it is a clear case of the victim being “re-victimized”.

She questioned “why did Dharamlall have to be there, and who determine that that was in the best interest of the child…and cases with minors, the investigation has to be conducted in a manner that it deals with what is in the best interest of the child, so why was Dharamlall there and why was she without legal counsel?”

News Source understands that the teenager has repeatedly requested to speak to an Attorney, but those requests were denied, and a number of Attorneys who are looking out for her interest were also denied meetings with the girl.

“You cannot have a 16-year-old girl going up against a system of known cops who are not above perverting the course of justice, there is enough evidence in the public space to warrant the type of suspicion at which people are treating the Guyana Police Force, so Dharamlall should not have been there”, Walton-Desir contended.

On the picket line today, members and supporters of the parliamentary opposition were joined by other political groups and some civil society members.

Representatives of The Citizenship Initiative Party said the party intends to keep a close eye on the investigations and the posture of the Police Force as it probes the alleged sexual assault case.

“We feel as though it should have been more expedited, but the process has started and we welcome a free and fair investigation”, TCI’s Delon Muffet said.

Another executive, Shaz Ali said he is disappointed at the length of time it took the government to act in the matter. He said he is hoping for a transparent process.

Former Georgetown City Councilor and Public Health Specialist, Patricia Woolford said more persons need to stand up and raise their voices in support of the teenage girl. She said “these allegations are so serious that they warrant that this Minister be removed from office. If these allegations were made against anybody else, they would have been arrested and put before the Court, but this Minister is being allowed to walk in with his Counsel and all of that, and as Guyanese we have to stand up to prevent this from happening to more of our girls”.

Patricia Woolford

General Secretary of the People’s National Congress, Dawn Hastings-Williams was also among those on the picket line. She was also accompanied by a group of indigenous women who believe that they must all take a stand against injustice and ensure that justice is realised in the current matter.

“We are going to keep on calling for investigations to be done in a proper manner, because what we have already seen is giving us mixed feelings, because persons are having doubts about the way the investigations are being done”, Hastings-Williams said.

Indigenous rights activist, Joan Ramscindo said “I want the Minister to know that he did not only hurt that young girl, he hurt all indigenous people. We may be few out here, but I can tell you that wherever they are, they are all hurt, and on behalf of all of them, we are calling in justice…and the only justice we want is to see Dharamlall go to jail”.

Samantha Oneil-Thomas

Another rights activist, Samantha Oneil-Thomas, said she would like to see more of her indigenous brothers and sisters on the picket line, standing up for the indigenous teenager.

“I am calling on even my friends, to come out and let us stand together and support this young lady, I am so so angry, this child, this little girl, needs justice, she said.

The Guyana Police Force has been tightlipped on the investigations, since its initial statement confirming the Minister’s arrest.

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