Man held in pen for three years to begin receiving speech, occupational therapy

-parents released on station bail

The pen in which Gopaul Etwaroo was kept by his father Clement Etwaroo and stepmother Parbatie Sukhu

The man who was kept in a pig pen for three years is said to be making progress and will begin receiving speech therapy soon even as his parents, Clement Etwaroo and Parbatie Suhku have been released on station bail while the Guyana Police Force continues investigations into the case.

According to Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Leslie James the two individuals were released after being held for 72 hours and the GPF is working to compile a file to send to the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Meanwhile, the young man who on Friday was found by the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) naked and unkempt in the tiny enclosure in Block `R’, Sophia is receiving help.

GWMO President, Urica Primus told Stabroek News that “he’s progressing well. The one-on-one care he’s been receiving is yielding great results.”

She explained that Etwaroo who underwent psychological evaluation yesterday will remain in the facility that he is currently in for the next six months and be re-evaluated after such time.

“[The evaluation] took all day, but it’s a start. Their initial report is that his mental state is as a result of the trauma. He’ll commence speech therapy and occupational therapy next week,” she said, adding that while GWMO has received co-operation from the social workers attached to the psychiatric department of GPHC they have received no word from the Ministry of Social Protection

She noted too that while the GPF has been in contact they have been unable to interview Etwaroo since his “speech is still delayed and incoherent at times.”

“The social worker recommended that he remain in care for six months. After just the three days, he’s using the toilet again, asking for his meals and less anxious at night. I think that he will progress greatly if he continues to receive the same treatment,” Primus stated.

Meanwhile, Stabroek News reached out to the Ministry of Social Protection to ascertain whether any action had been taken in relation to this case.

Public Relations Officer Jasmine Harris provided this statement on the issue.

 “Information concerning the inhumane living conditions of Gopaul Etwaroo has attracted the attention of the Ministry of Social Protection. We would like to remind the public that the Ministry takes seriously the treatment of all citizens, especially our more vulnerable ones. An investigation into this matter has been launched to ascertain the details surrounding his unlawful imprisonment.”

Harris was unable to verify whether the Ministry had ever visited the Block `R’ Sophia home as claimed by Sukhu.

According to Sukhu, a representative from the Ministry which was then the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security visited the home “every Sunday” but has not visited in several years.

At the time of these visits Gopaul was housed in a “zinc house at the back.” She noted that the visiting workers had directed the father to concrete the muddy space since it was not safe for the then 18 year old to be kept in mud.


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