Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Justice has to look in both directions-Rohee

Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee told a press conference yesterday that the Administration abhors any acts of torture of prisoners.

He said the recent case of the teenager is being investigated by the Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Rohee said, on October 30, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) reported that the murder rate in Guyana was down by 30 per cent and that, comparatively, serious crimes were significantly reduced.

He said that was good news but the bad news was to come the following day, October 31, with the shocking revelation about the beating and torture, allegedly by Police ranks, of suspects in connection with the murder of the former Region Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) Vice-Chairman, Mr. Raminauth Bisram.

Rohee said, following the unlawful killing, there was the usual emotive outcry from the public and close relatives demanding that the killers be brought to justice.

He said, according to the man’s wife, the murder was carefully planned and the killers were no ordinary robbers.

Rohee said: “Justice may be blind but it seems that it now has to look, at the same time, in both directions, that is to say, to the side of the murder victim and to the side of the victims claiming torture.

“Once deemed a criminal offence and subjected to due process the perpetrators could suffer statutory punishment”.

He explained that, in this matter, it is critical that one side must not be overlooked in favour of the other. Nor must those demanding justice be concerned only with the victims claiming torture, though this demand may be quite justifiable.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that there is still the case of Mr. Bisram who was brutally murdered,” Rohee cautioned.

He said the three in Police custody and the one in prison on remand are the main suspects.

“What is critical is that, in both instances, the murder and the allegation of torture, due process must be followed and, ultimately, the Court to decide,” Rohee said. Read more

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