Jan 31, 2015 News
The Rights of the Child Commission is calling for the immediate rescinding of the recent promotions of two police officers.
The two ranks in question were fingered in the torture of a child has been deemed an alarming development by the Rights of the Child Commission.
The body in a statement issued yesterday, said that it “views the situation with alarm”.
It was pointed out that after careful assessment of the facts relating to the case, the Rights of the Child Commissioners have concluded that “these promotions constitute a significant departure from the spirit and intent of Article 19 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The UNCRC establishes the right of the child to be free from hurt both in body and mind.
The Commissioners noted that in addition to its breach of the UNCRC, the promotions also collide violently with Guyana’s treaty obligations under the UN Convention Against torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
The Commissioners reviewed the fact that the culpability of the policemen in question is beyond dispute, in view of the findings of the Guyana Police Force’s own Office of Professional Responsibility and the decision by Justice Roxanne George in a civil case. The Commissioners deemed as “unconvincing” the pronouncement that the two policemen would have undergone sufficient censure.
The Commissioners have therefore posited that “the malevolence and depravity of torture, constitutes the worst form of human rights infraction.”
Thus, the Commissioners concluded that, such malevolence and depravity, when imbued into the promotion equation, abolishes any legitimate and meritocratic prospect of promotion.
The Commissioners have mentioned, too, that the singularity of the infraction does not in any meaningful way depreciate its depravity.
They also found as unconvincing, the reference to chapter 17:01 of the Police Act, since the decision by Justice George effectively took this matter beyond the confines of the Police Act and showed that the High Court of Guyana found this infraction to be repugnant to the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana as well as to the international treaties to which Guyana is a signatory.
The Commissioners reviewed the fact that ever since the unveiling of the Disciplined Forces Commission’s Report, the Guyana Police Force has embarked on a process of reform.
Such has included ventures of community engagements, partnership with youth based NGO’s etc. These endeavours are to be commended.
However, the promotion of policemen found linked to the torturing of a child will undermine the process of reform and will moreover corrode public faith in the police to effectively discharge their mandate, centred on service and protection.
In a word, these promotions are not in the interest of the GPF, and as a significant corollary, not in the interest of law and order, the Rights Commission said.
Also, the commissioners have noted that at the recent Universal Periodic Review Working Group meeting in Switzerland, statements of concern have been raised about the prevalence of police excesses in Guyana. Such promotions will only serve to aggravate and entrench further international concern.
The Commission, at a minimum, is calling for the immediate rescinding of these promotions.
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