The opposition yesterday took aim again at Home Minister Clement Rohee, reiterating their lack of confidence in his stewardship of the security sector and the police force in the wake of new allegations of police brutality.
Main opposition APNU called for an independent inquiry into the alleged sexual assault on detainee Colwyn Harding, who has accused a rank of the Timehri Police Station of sodomising him with a baton.
Harding, who suffered severe intestinal injuries, is now hospitalised under police guard, while the rank at the centre of the allegations has been placed under close arrest and others from the station transferred while an internal probe is underway
In addition to an independent inquiry, APNU, in a brief statement yesterday, demanded that the PPP/C administration immediately institute measures for real reform in the training of police, while reiterating its lack of confidence in Rohee’s ability to manage the security sector and the force.
Meanwhile, Leader of the AFC Khemraj Ramjattan told reporters at a press conference yesterday that he was shocked at the case. “I am shocked at the barbarity of the rogue members of the Guyana Police Force,” he said, while also reiterating that his party had no confidence in Rohee and again issued a call for him to resign.
In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the AFC stated that “this event is now a regular occurrence in Guyana and is another in a long list of assaults and injustices meted out to young Guyanese men who by way of their economic circumstances are taken advantage of by what can only be described as sick, power hungry, barbaric inhumane individuals within the Guyana Police Force….”
It noted that with an increase in the level of brutality inflicted by “rogue elements” of the force both the commissioner and Rohee have continuously failed to discharge their legal responsibility to investigate criminal activity perpetuated by police officers.
“The Alliance for Change holds the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs responsible for the rogue activities of ranks like constable (name given) and feel they both should resign as is expected in any democracy,” the release said.
The party added that failure of the ranks to tend to the visibly injured man while at the station speaks “volumes of the prevailing climate in the Guyana Police Force.” Ramjattan yesterday also said that Guyanese living in the United States have since donated the colostomy bags that Harding desperately needs while other support was pledged.
Ramjattan questioned the preparedness of the Georgetown Public Hospital in dealing with patients of various needs after Harding’s relatives were told they had to purchase colostomy bags as the hospital had none.
Stabroek News understands that some colostomy bags, needed to collect the faeces which are leaking from Harding’s body through his damages intestines, were handed over on Tuesday night and it is expected that they should last a week.
More are expected to be donated within the coming days.
AFC Chairman and attorney Nigel Hughes, who represents Harding, said on his Facebook page that a demand for the institution of criminal charges and compensation in the sum of $100M was delivered to the Commissioner of Police by the victim’s lawyers on Monday. “The victim’s defense team have commenced their own independent investigation with a view to filing private criminal charges in the event that the Police fail to institute any criminal charges by next week Wednesday,” Hughes said.