NGOs step up pressure against Greene

In letters in today’s newspaper Help and Shelter joined others calling for the immediate removal of Police Commissioner Henry Greene from office and activist Karen de Souza pointed out that there had been no response to complaints about him to the Police Service Commission and the Police Complaints Authority.

In its letter, Help & Shelter said it “wholeheartedly agrees with the Guyana Human Rights Association, APNU, Red Thread and all those who regard the acting Chief Justice’s ruling in the Henry Greene matter a travesty and joins in the calls for the DPP to appeal the ruling and for Mr Greene to be immediately removed from office.

“We need not repeat what has already been said regarding the flaws in the ruling, including the judge’s disregard for the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act and failure to acquaint himself with how women may react to the trauma of being raped.

“Mr Greene is not the first person holding the office of commissioner of police to be accused of rape. The first case did not even reach the stage of the then DPP advising that charges be laid. But the result of both will be the same if last Friday’s ruling is allowed to stand and a man who at the very least has, by his own admission, flagrantly abused his office is allowed to remain in it. (We have today [Thursday] heard that Mr Greene may be intending to resign. We feel strongly that he should not be allowed to do so, but should be dismissed.)

“Given all the work that has been done to level the field for victims of rape in the 21 years between these two matters, including the passing of new sex offences legislation (with all party support after extensive public education and consultation) we expected better for our client. We sincerely hope that our expectations will not prove to have been irrational”, Help and Shelter, which provides services to  mainly abused women and children said.

In a separate letter, De Souza said that she delivered the following correspondence to the offices of The Police Complaints Authority, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Police Service Commission on March 30.  As of Thursday, April 5, 2012,  she said that she and the other signatories have not even received an acknowledgement of receipt from any of the three. She said , this raises the question whether the Office of the Commissioner of Police is above the law.

The correspondence follows:

“Complaint against Mr Henry Greene

“Mr Henry Greene, Commissioner of Police, in connection with the DPP’s advice that he be charged for rape, swore to an affidavit which was proffered in the court of the Chief Justice.

“The Commissioner of Police swore in his affidavit that he engaged in a sexual encounter with a woman who came to him for assistance in his capacity as Commissioner, and that he engaged in the sexual encounter with her knowing that she was the subject of an active police investigation.

“This behaviour of the Commissioner breaches the most permissive codes of accepted ethical behaviour, and certainly, in a professional of Mr Greene’s position, at a minimum, it amounts to (1) potentially perverting a police investigation and (2) abusing his official position to secure sexual favours.

“We anticipate your urgent examination and institution of disciplinary measures in relation to this complaint.“

Yours faithfully,
Karen de Souza
Wintress White

Greene’s office and the police force have been silent on these matters.

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