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Human Rights body calls on Guyanese to write President Ali for high-tech probe into killing of West Berbice teenagers

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 November 2020, 17:44 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) on Saturday called on civil society to flood President Irfaan Ali with letters, appealing to him to get international experts to assist police in resolving the early September killing of the Henry cousins and Haresh Singh.

While organisations are free to compose their messages, the GHRA suggested that religious, trade unions, corporate, professional and non-governmental organisations tell the President that they are dissatisfied with the work of the police force in cracking the case. We are aware of the efforts made to date by the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Police Force with the assistance of the Regional Security System.  However, hopes that these investigations will conclude in a manner that satisfies both the demands of justice and national reconciliation are fading,”  the GHRA said.

That association further suggested that civic organisations specifically call on government to facilitate an Argentine team of forensic experts to come to Guyana to assist in the probe. “To this end resolving the murders becomes an opportunity to pursue national reconciliation as a common cause. In this spirit we are, therefore, encouraging the Government of Guyana to consider making available the services of the Argentine Team of Forensic Pathologists as requested by the Guyana Police Force,” the association said.

Joel and Isaiah Henry were killed and their bodies mutilated before they were discovered on a coconut plantation aback Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice. Haresh Singh was killed and his motorcycle burnt at the height of violence that had sparked off with the discovery of the bodies of the Henrys one day after they had left home to pick coconuts.

Government has so far ruled out the Argentine team coming to Guyana, but has indicated that there are also experts available from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Below is the full text of the GHRA’s suggested letter to the President of Guyana.

“A wide cross-section of Guyanese, including members of our organizations, were shocked by the brutal deaths of the three youths in West Coast Berbice last September.  The grim murders seem destined to end up in that mythical space where ethnic atrocities are never finally laid to rest.

We are aware of the efforts made to date by the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Police Force with the assistance of the Regional Security System.  However, hopes that these investigations will conclude in a manner that satisfies both the demands of justice and national reconciliation are fading.  

We believe that the technical investigations must be approached in a manner capable of ensuring not only positive technical results, but also assuring all well-intentioned Guyanese that every effort was made to resolve the crimes. That assurance will be secured if the Government is perceived as willing to go the extra mile, even were the end result not to be conclusive judicially.

To this end resolving the murders becomes an opportunity to pursue national reconciliation as a common cause. In this spirit we are, therefore, encouraging the Government of Guyana to consider making available the services of the Argentine Team of Forensic Pathologists as requested by the Guyana Police Force.

In addition to making the technical expertise available to resolve the murders, supporting this cause serves to breathe a new spirit into the daily lives of people and communities, conscious of the fact that the peace and harmony we all seek is a product of justice.

Letters from organisations may be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]

or delivered to: H.E. President Irfaan Ali, Office of the President, Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.”