Team from Police HQ to take over torture claims probe

Jamal Hakim

A team from Police Headquarters, Eve Leary will take over the probe into allegations by vendor, Jamal Hakim, 19, that he was tortured at the Whim Police Station.

In a statement yesterday, the police said that the administration of the Force has noted in the print and electronic press an allegation that Hakim of Ankerville, Port Mourant, Berbice, was tortured while in police custody.

The statement said that as a consequence and based on the visible injuries seen on the man and the version of the police at the station, “a Senior Officer and a team from the Office of Professional Responsibility at Police Headquarters, has been dispatched to ‘B’ Division with instruction to take over and complete the investigation”.

The Force added that “any allegation of that nature will be thoroughly investigated as happened in the past”.

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

He said 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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