Myself and others have been keenly following the recommendations put forward by the Minister of Social Security and Human Services to make perpetrators of female sexual abuse more accountable.
Admittedly there was initial scepticism… we felt this was a ploy designed to commit men of poor means to unreasonable lengthy prison terms based solely on flimsy verbal evidence given by so-called female victims. The PPP has come under attack recently by its Indo voting base to provide increased crime security measures or face the consequences at the next national elections.
Then something happened recently that caused even some of the PPP’s supporters to lose confidence in their credibility. According to the news media, a high ranking PPP member was about to be arrested based on accusations from an underage teenage female. Accompanied by her mother, the teenager reported to the police that she was sexually attacked by the senior PPP member.
Days after the story broke, it was again reported by the media that the girl and her mother made statements that the rape allegations made against the PPP member were false. This was of course shocking to the Guyanese public but not surprising. Most felt that the PPP had used its power and influence to bully/intimidate the victim into silence.
This was seen as plain hypocrisy and a direct blow to the credibility of the Minister of Human Services, Priya Manickhand. Here she was, making statements that persons were not being punished enough and were avoiding prosecution for sexual abuses when members of her own party were doing the same thing. If the Minister is to redeem her credibility, she will launch a transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. The Guyanese people are not fools. We know a cover up when we see it.
Citizens Rights Watch
We are sending a copy of this letter to Ms Priya Manickchand, Minister of Social Security and Human services for any comments she may wish to make.