Attorneys-at Law Khemraj Ramjattan and Neil Persram will today file an affidavit in the courts on behalf of Twyon Thomas, the teenager who was tortured at the Leonora Police Station in October last year.
The attorneys are seeking in excess of $25M in compensation on Thomas’ behalf.
The lawsuit names as respondents the Attorney General of Guyana, the Commissioner of Police, and the two ranks implicated in the torture, Sergeant Narine Lall and Mohanram Dolai.
The compensation cites exemplary and/or aggravated damages for oppressive and authoritarian conduct by the respondents during the period of 27th October, 2009 to 31st October, 2009 in West Demerara.
In the sworn statement by Thomas that will be filed, the young man states that on the day he was arrested, he was watching television with his sister when four ranks came to his house and one of them asked if he knew an adult named, “Buck Boy,” and he answered in the negative.
He swears that after he said no, he was forced to kneel, place his hands on his head and face the door while the ranks searched his house, asking his sister, “Whey de gun deh?” and she told them that she had no knowledge of a gun.
According to Thomas, he was then taken to Wales Police Station and shortly after, to La Grange Police Station where he was asked to sign in a book and was placed in the lock-ups.
The lad charges that he was, “asked to take off my pants and shirt…. only with my bare brief I was put into the cell…Only me was in the cell.”
Thomas adds that he asked the Policemen why he was being arrested and made to strip, only to be told, “Tomorrow we gun talk to you.”
The lad says that at that time he was scared and began crying and calling for his parents.
“I begged the Policemen to tell my parents where I was so they could come for me…Their response was that I should go to sleep…I could not sleep from then on…I was up whole night.”
The following day he was given some food which a rank told him was delivered by his parents but he had still not seen them.
Thomas was then taken out of the cell and questioned by a female rank as to whether he knew Ramenauth Bisram who was murdered among other questions.
The lad is maintaining that he answered all of the questions which were documented by the female rank and he was again placed in the cell.
According to Thomas, some 15 to 20 minutes later, he was questioned about the murder again, this time by a male rank after which he was again returned to the cell.
The lad documents that at about 16:00hrs that day, the same rank retrieved him from his cell and accused him of lying, saying, “I know something about Ramenauth’s murder but don’t want to tell him…He said that he will take me to the Leonora Police Station.”
It was at this point in time the lad’s testimony escalates into a violent episode.
He charges that when he was taken to the Leonora Police Station, he was placed in a cell for a short time but later taken to an office where, “I saw an East Indian Policeman (tall big-built man) at a table…He told me to kneel down on the floor…I did so…He told me how I know everything and how I was involved in Ramenauth’s murder.”
The lad says that after he denied knowing anything about the murder, the rank, “came around the table and boxed me violently on my ears…I felt pain…I began crying, holding on to my ears.”
By this time darkness had set in and he was taken by the big-built policeman and another rank, who he described as a ‘negro police’, into a darker room.
“I was told by the East Indian one to take off all my clothes…I did so…I was naked… There was a table in that darker room…The Negro one sat on that table and the East Indian began threatening me.”
According to Thomas, one of the ranks retrieved a piece of wood from the corner of the office.
At this point two more ranks, an East Indian and Negro, joined the two already in the room.
He said that he was again ordered to kneel and was lashed on the backside by the first East Indian one who he later learnt to be Sergeant Lall.
“I was hollering, crying in pain…He was lashing me hard…He gave about six lashes.”
Thomas in his sworn statement says that at this point, the two ranks that joined the first two, “held me down as the lashes started… I started fighting up…One policeman shouted, “bring de jersey and handcuff.”
The lad says that another rank responded that there was no handcuff and, “one then said get a piece of wire.”
The same wire was also used to inflict a beating on him, “and also a jersey was wrapped around my head.”
The lad continues in his documented statement to say that, “I fought back, hollering and shouting and crying…I was in severe pain…The wire was then used to tie my hands in front of me…I was lashed a hard severe lash on my back with a piece of wood which broke.”
After the piece of wood broke, Thomas charges that he was then assaulted to the head with, “what I noticed to be some object like a big padlock.”
This he said happened about three or four times.
At this point in time, he was asked if he was ready to talk and when he said that he knew nothing of the murder, the beating continued.
He was subsequently placed on the floor to lie on his back and this time stomped about the body and was again asked if he was ready to talk.
Thomas relates that he was asked if he knew someone named Mitchum, “I said yes…This same Negro Policeman then said to me, If you na talk me gon left dem fuh kill you right hey.”
The lad states that out of fear for his life he concocted a story and told the ranks that he saw two men jump out of Ramenauth’s yard the night of the murder but insists this was only to make the ranks stop beating him.
He was allowed to stand but was soon forced to the ground, “I then I felt something cold on my genital area and legs and it smelt like menthylated spirit or alcohol…I then heard as if a lighter was flicked and then I felt a heat and smelt as if my flesh burnt…I started screaming…I realised I was being burnt.”
He said that he then felt that the ranks were attempting to out the fire, and they removed the jersey from over his head.
Thomas documents that the ranks left the room and later one of them returned and asked if he wanted a fan, which he agreed to.
He said that the one he learnt to be Dolai then asked him if he wanted something to eat and he was given a tennis roll and some drink as well as a Vaseline substance which he rubbed on the burnt area.
“Whilst present in that same room, I heard Mitchum was screaming from another room…Then I was called out by Lall to come out from the said room to go into the large office area where I saw Mitchum who was being beaten also…Lall then told Mitchum, pointing to me, you want fuh get the same treatment like this boy.”
Thomas continues in his statement to say that he was then removed to the adjoining room where Mitchum was being beaten and he peeked through a crevice in the wall and saw one of the ranks holding a bottle of methylated spirits over Mitchum’s head asking, “you want me to throw it on you now.”
A short while later Thomas said, Sgt Lall returned and told him to put his clothing on which he refused to do, saying that it was paste to his burnt flesh but Sgt Lall insisted and gave him a large white pants to wear and ordered that he wear it, “and it was still pasting up…I had to hold it away from my body.”
He was then taken to the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station and the female rank on duty was ordered to put him in a cell by himself.
“They then left and the police lady came in to see me…I was crying…She opened cell and I told her what happened…She was shown what happened… She left me in cell…I could have seen that she felt sorry for me.”
The contentious Doctor
The lad said that he saw a doctor the following evening.
“I was taken out of the station cell by the fine Indian Police who was at Leonora Station, that is, Constable Dolai…He tied up my head with a bag that had a draw string…I told him I cannot see to walk…He said he will steer me…I was then taken some distance, and was spoken to by someone who later said he was a doctor…The bag with draw string was never removed from my head…The Doctor asked Constable Dolai whether I should not be taken to the hospital…No one said anything.”
In his sworn statement, Thomas said that the Doctor then recommended medicines and pain tablets for him.
“ He never looked at my face or ordered the bag to come off…I was begging him to permit me to see my mother and relatives and to take me to the Hospital…Instead I was carried back into the cell by Constable Dolai who took off the bag and closed the cell door.”
The lad relates that he was subsequently given a cream and some tablets and this continued for the following two days.
He continued that it was not until Khemraj Ramjattan intervened that he was allowed to see his parents and taken to the hospital.
This happened not before the retired Assistant Commissioner Heerall Mackhanlall objected, saying that all statements from me, my mother and dad must be taken first before I go to the hospital.
“Mr. Ramjattan protested and demonstrated and was put out of the Police Station by Mr. Mackhanlall.”
Sergeant Lall and Constable Dolai were subsequently charged after an investigation but according to the lad, “I always feel traumatised since…I am still unable to work…My penis does not work like it use to.”
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