by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 30 September 2007)
It has been ten very long days since the people of Guyana were informed of two Buxtonian men who released from police custody battered and bruised in what was an apparent torture session for information these men did not seem to have.
In the past ten days we have heard law enforcement officials promise an investigation, but we have been provided absolutely nothing of the progress of this investigation. At the time of writing this column, there have been no names given of those involved in this heinous crime. Surely this alone would be easy enough to ascertain.
There has not even been a verification that a crime was indeed committed by those in law enforcement and the Joint Services who allegedly beat, tortured and threatened with death two Buxtonian men while in custody. This is utterly unacceptable.
It is one thing to have some bad apples in law enforcement – those who seek to lord their little bit of power over those who they are suppose to be protecting – but it is beyond comprehension that any law enforcement official would try to sweep this under a rug and try to pretend it never happened.
This promised probe into the allegations of torture by these Buxtonian men should be conducted in the open and the media should be kept informed every single step of the way. Daily updates should be release until those guilty of these crimes are brought to justice.
The public has a right to know about the ongoing progress of this investigation. At this point, it is unclear that an investigation is even being conducted at all and I must say that it would be a great miscarriage of justice if this incident is allowed to simply fall off the nation’s radar and no one is held accountable.
There is no way in hell that anyone from Buxton is going to be forgetting about what happened to those men because they know if justice is not dispensed, any one of those citizens can be the next one to be tortured for information.
Several men were involved in the grisly assault on the Buxton men, which means at this point (ten days later!) the public should have the names of at least a handful of rogue law enforcement officers and/or military ranks who should be charged for their actions and brought to a court of law.
Ten very long days have passed with absolutely no justice. At this point I would have rightly expected to see those responsible behind bars so the community could rest assured that at least the bad apples who tortured the men cannot come after them too.
Surely law enforcement and military are competent enough to find the criminals from within their own ranks. I would venture to guess that almost anyone in that Police Station could name those responsible for the crimes against the Buxton men. So what the hell is taking so long?
The longer it takes to see any type of progress concerning this incident, the worse it looks for every single law enforcement officer and military rank in Buxton -even the good ones. In fact, because it is taking so long to get even the most basic of information about this case – like who was involved – it gives the appearance of collusion by those in charge.
This situation is among the most reprehensible that I have seen in my life. It is a betrayal of trust – a trust the people are guaranteed by the nation’s Constitution. Justice ought to be swift and sure to restore at least a small portion of that trust, but instead the very agencies that betrayed the people in the first place are once again demonstrating their treachery.
If there is still no report of significant progress given by the end of this week (including the names of those involved in this crime), then it would be in the nation’s best interest to create a committee that has no ties to the Joint Services or the Eve Leary Police Department to investigate this crime.
If the government is truly concerned with the situation in Buxton, for the sake of the people who live there, this incident cannot be swept under the rug and forgotten. Law enforcement cannot go around behaving like the very criminals they are supposedly seeking and expect the people of Buxton to help them with their mission.
Ten long days have passed and we still have no idea if justice will prevail and whether those who tortured the men from Buxton will be charged for their actions. I wonder if my column next Sunday will be on this very same subject because we still know nothing?