– Donald Ramotar
…reiterates that PPP is against all forms of torture
General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party, Donald Ramotar, yesterday reiterated that his party was against all forms of torture.
In an invited comment in relation to the brutal beating inflicted recently on Troy Small, allegedly at the hands of GDF ranks, Ramotar said that he was unaware of the intricate details of the situation and was only privy to what was available in the press.
As it relates to the charge by Leader of the Peoples National Congress Reform, Robert Corbin, that President Bharrat Jagdeo should take note of the current trial of the Former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, Ramotar said that, “Corbin seems to be losing his marbles.”
He said that it was either that or a reflection of the current struggles within the PNCR, whereas his leadership is under challenge and he wanted to make a big noise/statement to rally his supporters.
According to the PPP General Secretary, it is only an insane person that would seek to draw a reference between Guyana and Liberia, moreso Jagdeo and Taylor.
Last Friday, Corbin reminded media operatives of the party’s advocacy that inquiries be held into the allegations of beatings and torturing of citizens by elements of the security forces.
“We did so because we believe that respect for, and observance of the rule of law in a democracy, are the best means of safeguarding the rights of our citizens,” said Corbin.
He added that the calls resounded because the party seriously believes that unless allegations of torture were investigated and the perpetrators penalised, out-of-control elements of the security forces, allied to the political directorate, would continue to believe that they could beat and torture citizens with impunity.
“It has all happened again.”
He noted that it is now widely reported that Troy Small, called “Cats”, has been badly beaten and tortured by elements of the security forces.
“The circumstances surrounding this incident can best be described as obscene and emphasises once again, that this nation is undergoing a period of extended lawlessness.”
According to information available to the PNCR, Corbin said, was that Small was kidnapped on Monday 20 last and taken to the cemetery where he was brutally tortured by elements of the Disciplined Forces.
He reported that one police station refused to accept him when he was taken there after being so badly beaten but the Alberttown Police Station did.
He said that reports suggest that Small was suspected of involvement in the fire, which destroyed the Ministry of Health, and it is evident that, like the case of David Zammet, elements of the security forces believe that the mere suspicion of some infraction of the law entitles them to engage in torture.
“The legal principle that recognises that a citizen is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law has no meaning to some members of the political directorate and their willing and brutal henchmen in the security force. The PNCR reminds the Jagdeo Administration that torture is in violation of our Constitution and several international covenants to which Guyana is a signatory, such as the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT).”
According to Corbin, that Convention stipulates that victims of torture are entitled to compensation and that Heads of State who are guilty of such acts can be brought to account.
“President Jagdeo should take note of the ongoing trial of the former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, who was similarly accused of crimes against humanity, but who years later has now been arrested and is being made to account for his alleged misdeeds. Once again, the Party calls on the Jagdeo Administration to initiate an immediate investigation into this latest act of torture against one of our citizens.”
He added that, “these frequent abuses of the human rights of our citizens provide further evidence of the emerging tyranny, which is befalling the people of Guyana.”
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