Leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) David Granger is speaking out against the recent promotion of two police officers who tortured a 15 – year – old boy. Granger said the APNU cannot accept the position and the reasons behind the move as provided by the Police Commissioner and the Police Services Commission.
Granger told a news conference on Friday that his rejection of the move is of a principled nature but he suspects he will be in a better position to take decisive action following the May 11 general elections.
“After May 12 I suspect I will be in a position to correct the error… I intend to pursue the law. I will not be in any position of authority and promote the crime of torture,” he added.
He criticized the administration for its political interference in the work of the Guyana Police Force, the Police Service Commission and the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecution as he rejected their collective decision and support of the promotion.
To this end, Granger was supported by former Police Commissioner and Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Winston Felix who opined too that the promotions of the two officers were inspired by political powers.
He said the administration has tightened its grip on the PSC and several other organizations and has ceased to allow these bodies to function independently.
Granger drew attention to the fact that the 15 – year – old victim was arrested after the murder of Ramenauth Bisram at his home in Canal No.2. Bisram was the former Vice Chairman of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for the region.
The teen was badly burnt to his genitals. Granger and Felix said the absence of action against these officers and rewarding them with promotions is largely responsible for the continuity of such brutality.
Granger has reminded the government that it is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
He said “torture is a crime against humanity and torturers are the common enemies of all mankind.”
But even as there are widespread calls for the Police Service Commission to rescind the promotion of the two police officers who tortured a 15-year-old boy back in 2009, the Police Commissioner and the government has defended the promotions.
Policeman Narine Lall was promoted from sergeant to inspector while Mohanram Dolai was promoted from constable to corporal.
In November 2009, the duo had appeared in court and were charged with burning the genitals of a 15-year-old boy with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or cause him grievous bodily harm.
The criminal case against them was subsequently dismissed after the youth did not attend court to offer evidence. They were still found culpable by an internal police investigation and in a civil matter, a High Court Judge also found them responsible for the torture.
The Government has stayed far away from the issue by saying it does not want to get involved in the work of the Police Service Commission.
Filed: 13th February, 2015