AWOL soldier no longer being kept in cell

-Best

Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Commodore Gary Best said yesterday that Akeem Charles, the Private who was allegedly abused during a prolonged detention after going Absent Without Leave (AWOL), is no longer being held in a cell.

However, in a brief comment, Best said that Charles, 21, has not been released as he is currently awaiting a court martial.

Stabroek News had reported that Charles was being subjected to beatings and inhumane conditions in a Camp Ayanganna cell, where he had been held for more than 30 days. The army has since announced an investigation into the allegations.

Stabroek News understands after the allegations of Charles being abused were made public, efforts were made by the GDF to improve the conditions under which detained ranks were being held, and that Charles, had been released on Christmas to spend the day with his family. He was however, expected to return to Base Camp Ayanganna at the end of the day where he currently awaits his court martial.

According to a source in the GDF, Charles, who went AWOL to solicit assistance for a back injury he had sustained on a course after the army said it lacked the requisite funds to help him, had turned himself in when his information was published.

Stabroek News understands that on Thursday, December 20th, while being escorted to his cell by military police, Charles dove into a nearby drain to avoid being returned to his cell since the conditions were too much for him to bear. It is alleged that a senior soldier and another then proceeded to deal Charles several blows about his body for having done this.

The source stated that after being dealt multiple blows about the body, Charles was thrown back into his cell, naked, after which his cell was soaked with water. It is alleged that the young man’s cell was, from that point, doused with water every half hour, presumably to make him as uncomfortable as possible.

After several days of not so much as a response to the allegations, the GDF released a statement last Friday, announcing that it was probing allegations and assuring that any rank found culpable of inflicting any act of violence against Private Charles will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

The GDF emphasised that it “does not condone any act/s of violence meted out to its ranks,” whether they are serving or have breach their service by being AWOL.

It stated that based on    preliminary investigations, Charles was being detained in keeping with GDF policy since he had been AWOL and he was being processed through routine procedures to be court-martialed. He began exhibiting “abnormal behavior” to protest to his detention, it added, citing the instance of him throwing himself into the drain at Base Camp Ayanganna, while adding that he had to be removed there from in order to ensure his safety. No order was given for his cell to be soaked as was reported, the army said.

The release, however, failed to address allegations that Charles had spent more than the stipulated time in detention awaiting his court martial.

More in Local News

Shane Dowrich

Dowrich shines but Windies battling to avoid defeat

NORTH SOUND, Antigua,  CMC – Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich struck his second half-century in only his third Test but West Indies were staring at a possible innings defeat after being forced to follow-on by India, on the second day of the opening Test here Saturday.

default placeholder

Suspect confessed to murder of Herstelling manager – Police

The Guyana Police Force today said that the suspect in the murder of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, resident Terry Lackhan has confessed.

Indrawattie Chandradeo and her two remaining sons and her only daughter in tears at their home yesterday

Two men, teen boy found shot to death at Mibicuri Creek

By Bebi Oosman   The bodies of two men and a teenage boy, bearing gunshot wounds, were discovered yesterday at Mibicuri Creek, Black Bush Polder and police had one person in custody up to late last night facing questions about their shocking deaths.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and contractors checking out the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) booth at the procurement symposium for new entrant contractors, which was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre yesterday. (Minister of Public Infrastructure photo)

Patterson underlines need for transparency in public procurement

Speaking at a symposium for new and existing contractors, Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI) David Patterson yesterday stressed the need for transparency in the huge public procurement sector and added that distrust in the system has to be dispelled.

default placeholder

Granger says evidence of dereliction needed for Lawrence’s removal

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence would be removed from office once evidence is presented supporting her dereliction of duty, according to President David Granger, who has lauded her for her work so far.

Dr Madhu Singh (at right) with the team of doctors during the press conference

Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital saves heart patient given 48 hours to live

Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc recently performed its first ever pericardiectomy on a 27-year-old patient who had been given 48 hours to live while hospitalised at another institution.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: