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Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

The police continued to commit extrajudicial killings. The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) reported that the police killed 15 civilians through September, compared with 13 in all of 2000. In most cases, the police shot the victims while attempting to arrest them or while a crime was being committed. Public investigations rarely are conducted into such killings; in general police abuses are committed with impunity.

On April 9, Donna McKinnon was killed when shots were fired into a crowd gathered on the streets of Georgetown to watch a fire burn in a shopping district. The likely arson-initiated fire occurred during an opposition political protest march. McKinnon's body was found near Freedom House, the headquarters of the PPP, where witnesses claimed the shots originated. TSS officers also fired shots to disperse the crowd. On June 21, a judge ordered an inquiry into McKinnon's death. At year's end, the GPF stated that its investigation had not generated any leads, and that the family was unwilling to have the body exhumed.

On May 10, police shot and killed Junior "Drakes" Stanton in a guesthouse in Georgetown while attempting to arrest him on armed robbery charges. Witnesses said that an unarmed and groggy Stanton unlocked the door and had his hands raised above his head. Police reportedly fired two shots, fatally wounding Stanton in the chest and side.

On May 12, police shot and killed Devon "Buckman" Gonsalves while attempting to arrest him for two murders and a series of robberies. TSS officers followed Gonsalves to the yard where he was hiding and confronted him. Gonsalves was said to have sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach. The GHRA received information that Gonsalves was unarmed.

On June 4, police shot and killed Shamshudeen "Spoon" Mohammed during a demonstration at the Albion Police Station in Berbice in which several thousand residents protested police inaction. During the demonstration, Shamshudeen and three others were wounded when police fired gunshots into the crowd of protesters, who reportedly were stoning and attempting to set the police station on fire with Molotov cocktails. Shamshudeen and the others were taken to a New Amsterdam hospital, where Shamshudeen later died.

On June 8, Rocky Anthony Brunoanish died in the Aurora Police Station lockup. An autopsy revealed that he died of a fractured skull and hemorrhaging from a severe beating. Prior to his death, Brunoanish reportedly asked for medical attention to no avail.

On June 9, Colin "Sadist" Cummerbatch was shot and killed in his home when police attempted to arrest him for a series of armed robberies.

On July 26, members of the TSS shot and killed three men – John Bruce, Steve Grant, and Adisena Houston – on Mandela Avenue. Accounts of the event conflicted; the police reported that the three men exited a car and fired at the officers, who then returned fire. However, eyewitnesses stated that the police forced the men out of the car at gunpoint and shot them execution-style after officers found a pistol while body-searching one of the suspects.

On August 14, Azad Bacchus, his son Shaazad Bacchus, and nephew Fadil Ally were killed in the early morning during a confrontation with members of the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS) following events that included a civilian raid on the Skeldon hospital. Postmortem examinations conducted on the bodies by a government pathologist revealed that bullet wounds were the cause of death. It originally was thought that neither of the two youths had sustained gunshot wounds but had been beaten to death. The family of the deceased received permission for an overseas pathologist to do a second post-mortem examination, which was conducted in August and reportedly confirmed that the three men died of gunshot wounds. At year's end, an inquest was pending.

The BASS confrontation with Azad Bacchus, Shaazad Bacchus, and Fadil Ally triggered 3 days of protests, and on August 16, BASS personnel, confined to their office, started to shoot when demonstrators attacked the BASS office in the Corentyne. Two men, Stephen Angel and Sais Ghani, were shot and killed. In November Angel's family requested that the High Court order a police investigation and an inquest; at year's end, no further information was available.

An inquest was conducted in the case of Mohammed Shafeek, who died in the Brickdam police lockup in September 2000. Although initial police reports had indicated that Shafeek might have been beaten by other prisoners, an investigation revealed that Shafeek was beaten by the Venezuelan crew of a ship that had since left the country, and that the police had arrested him for disorderly conduct. The Police Commissioner stated that Shafeek should have been hospitalized instead of being placed in a prison cell, that procedures would be instituted in the future to ensure that injured prisoners were hospitalized, and that disciplinary action would be taken against police officers involved. In February a witness testified that "two policemen held him (Shafeek) by his hands and feet and threw him against a concrete wall in the lockup." The witness was rearrested 2 weeks after being released, and he said that during this incarceration, TSS officers held a gun to his head and threatened to kill him if he spoke about Shafeek's death. In March the inquest was postponed due to problems in jury member attendance. On November 27, the inquest jury unanimously ruled that the GPF should be held criminally responsible for Shafeek's death; at year's end, the police had filed a challenge against the inquest ruling.

In most of the extrajudicial killings by police in previous years, including the police shootings of Fazal Narine and Colin McGregor in 1999, there were no new developments.

At a June 12 press conference, People's National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) leader Desmond Hoyte called for public inquiry into the operations of the GPF. He accused the TSS of killing more than 100 men in the last 8 years and called for the dismissal of Police Commissioner Laurie Lewis. Lewis retired in September. Hoyte claimed that nearly all of the extrajudicial killings during the past 8 years remain uninvestigated, and accused the TSS of operating under political protection.

On June 14, the PNC/R submitted a motion to the Speaker of the National Assembly calling on President Jagdeo to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the operations of the GPF. The motion criticizes police for involvement in extrajudicial killings and brutality, as well as the impunity with which these alleged offenses are committed. By year's end, the motion had not been placed on Parliament's agenda.

On June 12, the GHRA issued a press statement strongly criticizing the increase in extrajudicial killings and calling for a National Oversight Committee to implement a national security policy. It stated that the GPF is overwhelmed by criminal and politically induced lawlessness. According to the GHRA, eight extrajudicial killings took place during the 2 months after the national elections, and the GHRA recommended investigations into the coincidence of periods of high levels of political lawlessness and such killings.

In June Parliament passed a constitutional amendment that provides that a Disciplined Forces Commission may be established, which could serve to address the allegations of extrajudicial killings and brutality by police.

In March 2000, the U.N. Human Rights Committee made 22 recommendations to the Government, including a call for prompt investigation by an impartial body of extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force. It also called for measures to ensure the prosecution of offenders and to provide effective remedies to victims. The Committee recommended that all law enforcement officials receive thorough training in international human rights standards. The GPF invited the GHRA to participate in a training session for new recruits to address human rights issues on one occasion during the year.

Many justice authorities and human rights activists say that due to rising crime and pressure from urban businesses, which are often the targets of criminals, the Government has taken a lax attitude toward investigation of alleged police abuses.

U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2001 - Guyana



https://www.refworld.org/docid/3c84d99118.html

Last edited by Django
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Extra-judicial killings never existed in Guyana -Pres. Ali

At a press conference in New York, the President said he cannot respond to questions about extra-judicial killings in Guyana since such killings never existed, and talk about extra-judicial killings is nothing but lies.

President Irfaan Ali today shot down claims that the recent police killings amount to a return to extra-judicial killings under a People’s Progressive Party government.

At a press conference in New York, the President said he cannot respond to questions about extra-judicial killings in Guyana since such killings never existed, and talk about extra-judicial killings is nothing but lies.

β€œYou can’t return to something that never existed. If you are starting from a foundation of lies, you can’t return to a foundation of lies…there is no basis to respond to this, it’s a foundation of lies and I am not going to return to something that didn’t exist in the first place”, the President said in response to a question about extra-judicial killings in Guyana.

In the past year, members of the Guyana Police Force have been involved in at least three shooting deaths of unarmed men. In at least one of the cases, a Police Officer is facing a charge of unlawful killing. The other two cases, including the recent shooting death of an Essequibo businessman, are still being investigated.

The President said he is confident that the Police Office of Professional Responsibility will do a good job of investigating the incidents, but he dismissed concerns about extrajudicial killings. He said that term fits into a political narrative.

President Irfaan Ali

β€œThe narrative that was created about extra-judicial killings was a disgusting narrative aimed at discrediting the PPP civic government and it has no basis, it was not factual and we have dismantled this”, Mr. Ali said.

The US State Department and the Guyana Human Rights Association in a number of separate reports referenced the problem of extra-judicial killings in Guyana between 2000 and 2005.

The recent Police shooting death of the Essequibo businessman reignited fears of the Police going outside of the law during their operations.

Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 12, 2005

The U.S. is Concerned by the Government of Guyana's Decision to Reinstate Former Home Minister Ronald Gajraj



The United States is deeply concerned by the decision of the Government of Guyana to reinstate former Home Minister Ronald Gajraj. A Guyanese commission of inquiry looking into his links to the so called "Phantom Death Squad" has found serious procedural irregularities in his official conduct related to his involvement with individuals who allegedly carried out extra-judicial killings. We believe significant questions remain unanswered regarding his involvement in serious criminal activities.

The United States and the Government of Guyana enjoy close, cordial relations and share an important bilateral agenda. However, Gajraj’s resumption of a key ministry, with direct authority over law enforcement activities in Guyana, undermines the rule of law in that country. We will be looking at the range of assistance we provide the Government of Guyana in order to protect the integrity of that agenda, particularly in the areas of governance and law enforcement.

2005/400

https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/...rs/ps/2005/44540.htm

Spuds why you and Rickford don't go back and live in Guyana. Take Guana man and that koolie Ben chopsticks with you two. Without the Guyana Police Force, Guyana will be the wild west of death. Ali Khan says gun those criminals out.

aloo - I'll excuse you

what you have to say on subjects here is painfully funny, pathetic even, and borders on the tragic

Was Father Darke's murder a fabrication? Was the murder of Walter Rodney a fabrication? Sash Sawh? Hundreds of others? Is extra-judicial killing a fabrication, a fantasy?
Many of us do not want to accept the fact of corruption and deception by Ali and the current regime. Our arguments, too often are to "compare" with what Granger did- forgetting that that is why Granger lost the elections! PPP is in office and must be held accountable and responsible for their own actions.
Ali, recently, in the USA insulted all of Guyana. Ali acted as judge and jury in his statement that extra-judicial killings were fabricated. Ali hopes we would forget the murder of Sash Sawh, Crumwig and numerous others in the past - and more recently, the murder of Boston at Dartmouth, Essequibo.
We cannot doubt that APNU attempted to rig the 2020 elections. And we cannot doubt that there has been and is extrajudicial killings in Guyana. Whether Ali is blinded or blindsided by the weight of the Office to which he was selected by Jagdeo, Ali owes the country a fair and balanced approach to governance. Extrajudicial killings have not been fiction, it is a fact. Perpetrated by both PPP and PNC Governments.
Let a public hearing disprove this. Ali has fabricated the notion that the killings by police and state are fabricated.
May be an image of text that says '#STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS'
@Django posted:
Was Father Darke's murder a fabrication? Was the murder of Walter Rodney a fabrication? Sash Sawh? Hundreds of others? Is extra-judicial killing a fabrication, a fantasy?
Many of us do not want to accept the fact of corruption and deception by Ali and the current regime. Our arguments, too often are to "compare" with what Granger did- forgetting that that is why Granger lost the elections! PPP is in office and must be held accountable and responsible for their own actions.
Ali, recently, in the USA insulted all of Guyana. Ali acted as judge and jury in his statement that extra-judicial killings were fabricated. Ali hopes we would forget the murder of Sash Sawh, Crumwig and numerous others in the past - and more recently, the murder of Boston at Dartmouth, Essequibo.
We cannot doubt that APNU attempted to rig the 2020 elections. And we cannot doubt that there has been and is extrajudicial killings in Guyana. Whether Ali is blinded or blindsided by the weight of the Office to which he was selected by Jagdeo, Ali owes the country a fair and balanced approach to governance. Extrajudicial killings have not been fiction, it is a fact. Perpetrated by both PPP and PNC Governments.
Let a public hearing disprove this. Ali has fabricated the notion that the killings by police and state are fabricated.
May be an image of text that says '#STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS'

Django is one of the people who are trying to rewrite Guyana history.

@Former Member posted:

Burke was part of de Hoyte govt for 7 years. Hoyte black clothes shot down 50 plus black men extrajudicial style. PPP use it after 2007 election when de "slow fyah, mo fyah" started and "kith and kin".

lie - i know you don't like burke. too in yuh face nuh? don't lie pon the man though

ppp killed 28 in 1997, by far the highest from 1980 to 2001 according to GHRA figures

@Spugum posted:

lie - i know you don't like burke. too in yuh face nuh? don't lie pon the man though

ppp killed 28 in 1997, by far the highest from 1980 to 2001 according to GHRA figures

Looks like y’all didn’t see the police back to killing innocent blacks yet, Where is the outrage? Isn’t this the extrajudicial killing GHRA y’all harping about? Twoblack youths were gunned down by police and not a peep from y’all but eventually GHRA figures would tally them as PPP killing them….right?

Last edited by sachin_05
@sachin_05 posted:

Looks like y’all didn’t see the police back to killing innocent blacks yet, Where is the outrage? Isn’t this the extrajudicial killing GHRA y’all harping about? Twoblack youths were gunned down by police and not a peep from y’all but eventually GHRA figures would tally them as PPP killing them….right?

when granger bacame president he made it clear, publicly, to the GPF that his administration was not supportive of killing suspects as this curtailed thorough investigation into who or what was behind certain crimes

overnight the police changed there approach and the killing ceased almost completely

ali, has made no such call - at least not publicly - to the police and we're back to the killing again. it can only be concluded that the current administration is supportive of such killings with all the consequences attached

i'm in a very generous mood today so trying hard to be patient with you

@Spugum posted:

when granger bacame president he made it clear, publicly, to the GPF that his administration was not supportive of killing suspects as this curtailed thorough investigation into who or what was behind certain crimes

overnight the police changed there approach and the killing ceased almost completely

ali, has made no such call - at least not publicly - to the police and we're back to the killing again. it can only be concluded that the current administration is supportive of such killings with all the consequences attached

i'm in a very generous mood today so trying hard to be patient with you

See, all i had to do is to give yuh enough rope and you end hanging yuh self, you unwittingly admit that the owner of the dogs [Granger] can let them loose or call them off at will…hahahahaha [maniacal laughter]

Last edited by sachin_05
@sachin_05 posted:

See, all i had to do is to give yuh enough rope and you end hanging yuh self, you unwittingly admit that the owner of the dogs [Granger] can let them loose or call them off at will…hahahahaha [maniacal laughter]

dankey - the ppp was in power for 23 years before granger. and in case yuh missed what i said, granger addressed the GPF. ali can stop the police from killing too. that's the point

@Mitwah posted:

Idiot, Ali is suppose to be in charge now. Take the rope and hang yourself.

yuh know how the saying goes right, if you get caught in a shooting you don’t have to worry about the gun shots you  hear, it’s the one you didn’t hear you need to worry about. Like the commands to the dogs from granger, it’s the one you didn’t hear.
Just in case yuh need some rope let me know, I gat some  wid yuh name on it..hahahahaha [maniacal laughter]