Eight years after three Linden men, who were part of a protest, were gunned down by the Police, their relatives have filed a $450 million lawsuit against the State.
The three “Linden Martyrs”, Ron Somerset, Shemroy Bouyea and Allan Lewis, were shot dead on the 18th July 2012 at the Wismar Mackenzie Bridge by Police Officers during a protest over a proposed increase in electricity costs.
A Commission of Inquiry was conducted into the deaths but failed to name specific ranks as being responsible for the deaths, but it was made clear that the Police Force was responsible for the deaths since no other person was armed with a gun during the protest.
A number of other persons were injured during the shooting.
The Commission of Inquiry awarded $7 million in total to the families of the three young men, with two of the families being awarded $3 million each and the family of the youngest of the three dead men being awarded just $1 million.
Family members always decried the lack of assistance from the former Government and it is believed that prompted the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit filed by Attorney Darren Wade, the relatives are making an application for a declaration that the three deceased right to life and fundamental right to Liberty were breached, encroached and infringed by the State of Guyana.
They are also seeking another declaration that the Police were reckless and used unnecessary force in the killing of the three men.
Additionally, the relatives contend that by not providing any medical aid or support to the men after shooting them, it caused the three men to suffer and that was degrading and inhumane. They want the Court to agree to that contention also.
The three families are claiming in excess of $100M each for the breach and contravention of the fundamental rights to life and an additional $50 million each for the inhumane and degrading treatment suffered by their relatives.
The application will be heard on the 25th February before Justice Franklyn Holder.
The Attorney General of Guyana, Senior Counsel Basil Williams, is listed as the respondent on behalf of the State.
Mr. Williams had represented the interest of some of the injured persons when the Commission of Inquiry was held.