Linden shootings …Bullets struck two protesters in the heart, one in the back
By Latoya Giles
Trinidad-based Pathologist, Professor Hubert Daisley, has revealed that preliminary results have shown two of the three slain Linden protesters were shot to the region of their hearts with “bronze-tipped metal fragment” rounds. The third was shot in the back.
The Alliance for Change had made the request for Prof. Daisley to witness the post mortem which were done by Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh. According to Prof. Daisley, the metal fragments were found in two of the victims, which might suggest that the same weapon was used.
Ballistic tests would determine what caliber weapon was used, but they looked similar, Daisley stated. “It wasn’t from an assault rifle; there was no exit wound …it could be a handgun, but the ballistics would be in a better position to answer that question”.
The professor posited that there was no tampering of the body since the clothing which the victims were wearing corresponded with the entry wounds. He noted that all of the men died in similar fashion, noting that they were all shot in the chest, except a third who was shot in the back.
Acting in the interest of the families of the victims, attorney at law Nigel Hughes said that by no uncertain terms this could have been an accident. Hughes said that it was no coincidence that all of the victims were shot in the same manner “to the heart” and the third to the back.
The lawyer suggested that the Director of Public Prosecutions should act right away and not wait on the inquiry.
“I cannot over emphasize the fact, that the state shot citizens of Guyana and killed them. This was not done for crowd control because of where the victims were shot….This takes Guyana into a grave place,” Hughes posited.
Former Member of Parliament for the People’s National Congress Reform, Aubrey Norton said that revelations from the post mortem have changed the observation of the political spectrum.
According to Norton there should be no reservation about Minister Clement Rohee’s resignation. He said that under the laws of Guyana, the Minister gives directions to the Police Force.
He added that the policemen who were at Linden didn’t come to end a demonstration, since they came ill-prepared. “They didn’t walk with protective shields, and different types of weapons…They came with a clear general direction which was to kill,” Norton noted.
He is maintaining that more pressure should be placed for the resignation of the Minister and the Commander for the division. Further, the former Member of Parliament is calling for the policemen involved in the incident to be charged.
“We also need to question how the Police Force acts since the policemen do not understand their role of protection. They only know how to brutalize people.”
He made the call for all of Guyana to get out and act. “We’ve started with simple police brutality then to torture…then extra judicial killings now to murdering of citizens openly.”
He said the issue is now to bring the police back into line and for them to understand their role to “protect and serve”.
It was a week ago when police opened fire on protesters in Linden, killing Shemroy Bouyea, 24, Ron Somerset, 17, and Ivan Lewis, 46, all of Wisroc, Linden. The shooting also left several persons nursing injuries.
Relatives yesterday said that they were pleased with the findings of the independent post mortem. Margaret Somerset said that she will refuse to accept any mediocre explanation by the authority about her son’s death. The woman said she will continue to push for justice for her son.
“My son was 17 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him…He was out there protesting for his right to have a good job when he was finished with school…but that right was taken from him. He had a bright future.
“He could have been anything, but now he’s dead!” The woman cried as she spoke to reporters.
Meanwhile, the police in a press statement said that the post mortem examinations were conducted yesterday by Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh in the presence of Trinidadian Pathologist Prof. Hubert Daisley.
According to the police the cause of death of Ron Somerset was haemorrhage and shock due to multiple gunshot injuries. Allan Lewis died from perforation of the lungs and stomach due to gunshot injuries; and Shemroy Bouyea died of perforation of the heart due to gunshot wounds. Investigations into this matter are in progress.