Kaieteur News – A $150 million lawsuit has been filed against the State in relation to the 17-year-old boy who was allegedly burnt and tortured during July 2022 while in custody at the Vigilance Police Station, East Coast Demerara (E.C.D).
Attorney-at-law Eusi Anderson is representing Jaheim Peters, a resident of Annandale, E.C.D. The lawsuit names Curtis Europe, both in his personal capacity and as a member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) as the first named defendant and the second named defendant is the Attorney General of Guyana, Anil Nandlall, S.C, who is being sued in his capacity as the legal representative of the State of Guyana.
Peters alleges that while he was a minor, he was detained by the police in connection to an alleged armed robbery. He said he was set on fire and burnt about his body, while being tortured by Europe, to confess to crimes.
According to the court document, the abuse and torture started on July 10, 2022, when Europe went into the claimant’s cell and started to ignite the lighter against the claimant’s skin on his lower arm while the claimant was handcuffed. After doing so repeatedly, the claimant’s jersey which he was wearing at the time, ignited. The fire quickly spread on his clothes.
The claimant was, at the time of the incident, he was in the custody of the police for several hours. “He had done nothing to provoke violence or invite torture to his body or person by anyone. He was cooperative with the police and, at all material times, showed a calm disposition and compliant with all orders of the ranks holding him in custody. The claimant conducted himself in no way to suggest resistance to arrest or an impediment to the police investigation,” the court papers said.
According to the document, the policeman personally lit the lighter and took minimal steps to out the fire only up to when the claimant began to holler, scream and cry out in pain as the fire spread about his body.
The document further states that the claimant, while still handcuffed managed to take off his jersey but it was too late to avert the injuries. The court document outlined that at the time of his arrest the claimant had no underlying conditions and was not experiencing pain of any sort. “The pain he now endures is as a result of the torture, cruel and inhuman treatment meted out to him by the policeman,” the court document states.
It details that the claimant sustained several, severe multi-degree burns about his torso and upper limbs and back. Peters was hospitalised for several days and required surgery including skin grafts to treat the burns about his body. The document states too, that the claimant has permanent partial disability, scars, burn marks and trauma that can never be erased as a result of the actions of Europe.
Notably, the claim includes punitive damages, emphasizing Peters’ status as a minor held in an adult prison cell, subjected to interrogation and torture in violation of basic human rights. The negligence claims against the Commissioner of Police and agents at Vigilance Police Station revolve around the breach of duty of care. It is alleged that they knowingly caused harm, failed to transfer Peters to a juvenile facility, and disregarded protocols for treating minors in custody.
The lawsuit demands a declaration of constitutional rights violation and substantial damages. The breakdown includes $50 million each for substantial, punitive, and general damages related to the injuries sustained by Peters. Furthermore, it leaves room for any other measures the court deems just. The Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had launched an investigation into the torture allegations. Subsequently, the police had announced that three policemen were to face disciplinary charges in connection with the case. At trial, the claimant will contend that the defendants committed acts of negligence.
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
Dec 11, 2023Kaieteur Sports – Top brass officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI), continued their logistical inspections in Guyana, this time at the Guyana...
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 10, 2023
Dec 10, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.