Document - Guyana: One incommunicado and two tortured



UA: 298/09 Index: AMR 35/002/2009 Guyana Date: 03 November 2009


URGENT ACTION

GUYANA: ONE INCOMMUNICADO AND TWO TORTURED

According to press reports, a 20 year-old man, Nouravie Wilfred, is being held incommunicado without charge by police in Guyana. He may have been ill-treated following his detention in relation to a murder investigation, and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. A 15-year-old boy and another man have been tortured in police custody during the same investigation.

Nouravie Wilfredwas arrested on 27 October in connection with the murder of former local government official Ramenauth Bisram, which happened a day earlier. Nouravie Wilfred is believed to be detained at the police station in the village of Leonora, approximately 12 miles west of the capital, Georgetown. He has not been seen by his family or a lawyer. Under Guyanese law a suspect can be held by police for up to 72 hours before being brought before a court.

A fifteen-year-old boy(whose name is known to Amnesty International) was arrested on 27 October in connection with the same murder. The following evening he was taken to Leonora police station, where he was beaten. When he refused to sign a confession, police officers held him down and doused his genital area with an inflammable liquid, which they set alight. He was not given proper medical treatment and access to legal representation until 31 October, despite repeated attempts by his lawyers and family to gain access. He is currently in hospital under police guard. Press reports state that two police officers have been detained in connection with his torture. A third person, Deonarine Rafick,was also detained on 26 October. The following day, while held at Leonora police station, he was struck by a piece of wood on his back, legs, buttocks, face and scalp. According to his testimony, the inside of his mouth was also burnt with cigarettes. He was forced to sign a confession stating that he was involved in the murder. His lawyers were only granted access to him on 29 October after repeated attempts. Deonarine Rafick was brought before a court and charged with murder on 30 October. His face was visibly bruised and the wound on his scalp had not been stitched. The magistrate presiding over the hearing ordered that he receive immediate medical treatment. He is currently in prison pending a preliminary investigation. According to his lawyer and family, he has not yet received medical attention.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or your own language:

  • insisting that the authorities immediately clarify the circumstances of Nouravie Wilfred’s detention, that he be charged with a recognizable criminal offence or released and that he have immediate access to his family, lawyers of his choice and to any medical treatment he may require, and that he be protected from torture or other ill-treatment;

  • urging the authorities to immediately provide Deonarine Rafick with medical attention and that he be protected from any further torture or ill-treatment;

  • calling for a full investigation into allegations of torture to obtain forced confessions, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 DECEMBER 2009 TO:

Minister of Home Affairs

Hon. Clement Rohee

Ministry of Home Affairs

Brickdam

Stabroek

Georgetown, Guyana

Fax: + 592 227 4806

Email: homemin@guyana.net.gy

Salutation: Dear Minister

Director of Public Prosecutions

Shalimar Ali-Hack

1, Seawall Flat

Georgetown, Guyana

Fax: +592 226 9255

Email: chambers@guyana.net.gy

Salutation: Dear Director of Prosecutions


And copies to:

Two local newspapers in Guyana

Kaieteur News

Email: kaieteurnews@yahoo.com


Stabroek News

Email: stabroeknews@hotmail.com


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

GUYANA: ONE INCOMMUNICADO AND TWO TORTURED


ADditional Information

Amnesty International has long-standing concerns regarding reports of excessive use of force employed by the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force, including torture and unlawful killings, and by the lack of independent investigations to bring those responsible to justice. There is no independent body to investigate allegations of abuses committed by members of the security forces in Guyana and therefore in most cases nobody is brought to justice.

In a similar case, three days after an arson attack on the Ministry of Health on 17 July 2009, a man named Troy Small was allegedly beaten and threatened with a gun by a group of men including one uniformed member of the Guyana Defence Force in an apparent attempt to extract information. He was badly beaten and was left at Alberttown Police Station in the capital. An investigation is apparently ongoing.

UA: 298/09 Index: AMR 35/002/2009 Issue Date: 03 November 2009

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE