Berbice cops under investigation for allegedly torturing vendor

Jamal Hakim

An investigation has been launched into the alleged torture of a young Corentyne vendor by police ranks in ‘B’ Division (Berbice).

Police spokesman Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan announced that an investigation has been launched by the Divisional Commander into the allegations made by Jameel Hakim, 19, of Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne.

According to Hakim, who had visible injuries to his face, ears, neck, knees, shoulders and other parts of his body, he was recently charged with larceny after being brutalised by the police, who arrested him at his home on July 20th.

He explained that he was taken to the Whim Police Station, where ranks allegedly assaulted him about his body.

Hakim, who sells household items, told reporters that the police did not give any reason for suddenly arresting him. Instead, he said that once he was at the station, the ranks placed him to kneel on the ground and used a wire to beat him about his body. He added that he was also stomped on his back.

However, he said that it was just the beginning of the assault as he further alleged, that after the beating, ranks brought a pail, filled to the brim with water, and they then began to question him about a gold chain, which he said they claimed that he “snatched” from someone.

Hakim said when he told the ranks he was not aware of what they were talking about, one rank held unto his hair and began dunking his head into the water. The man further alleged that pepper sauce was placed into his mouth, which was then taped shut. He also said that a plastic bag was placed over his head.

After the assault, Hakim said he was transferred to the Reliance Police Station, where he was placed before the magistrate’s court and charged with larceny. He was subsequently released on his own recognisance.

Hakim said he is currently experiencing major difficulties with his hearing since the assault.

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