Justice should be served in the case of the gang-raped girl granted refugee status in Canada

Dear Editor,
The SN article dated January 21, 2009, titled ‘Gang-raped girl granted refugee status in Canada,’ has cast the Guyana law enforcement agency and the government in a bad light.
In the article it was reported that a 15-year-old Guyanese schoolgirl was gang-raped and brutalized by three men. Immigration Consultant Balwant Persaud, stated that these men have connections in high places in Guyana. He provided evidence to the Refugee Board of Canada which substantiated his claim that there were many such cases in Guyana and on which, he claimed, the government and police refused to act. As a result of Mr Persaud’s convincing submission this abused child was granted refugee status.

As Guyanese, we should all raise our voices to denounce this kind of savage, and brutal treatment which is meted out to our children. It is shameful to see that our children have to resort to seeking sanctuary in another country because of sex crimes committed against them, crimes which are apparently not investigated, or where the culprits are not brought to answer for the same, because of supposed connections.

What has our nation become, if our citizens are forced to flee and file for refugee status elsewhere because of sexual violence committed against them? This certainly projects us as an inhuman society where sexual predators seem to evade the law quite easily. It also indicates that women and children’s rights are rapidly eroding.

I wish this teenager a speedy recovery and trust that she will rise above the travesty she experienced.
However, I believe that critical to her road to recovery is that justice be served in her situation. I wish, therefore, to enquire from the Commissioner of Police whether any report was made in relation to this incident, and if it was, that the public be aware of the status of any investigation undertaken by his department. If no report was made it would be in the interest of the government to launch an investigation in order that justice may be served in this case.

We cannot allow these sex offenders to believe that they can just commit such crimes and escape the law because their victims will run away to seek refugee status elsewhere.

And that is definitely not the message we want to send to the world.
The perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice. Sexual violence against women, and children must not be tolerated.
A young Guyanese has lost the right to live peacefully in her own land because of savage, cowardly beings, who lack the moral, cultural, and spiritual, fibre of decent, civilized human beings.
Yours faithfully,
Lurlene Nestor

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