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Come clean on refusal to hand over files to Argentine forensic anthropologist- WPA tells govt

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 December 2020, 14:50 by Denis Chabrol

The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) is questioning the apparent refusal by the Guyana government to hand over copies of key files to the Argentine Forensic Anthropologist concerning the killing of three youths in West Berbice earlier this year.

“Finally, WPA takes this opportunity to demand the police and the government to come clean on what it knows about the murder of the three young boys of West Berbice—the Henry cousins and Haresh Singh. The refusal by the police High Command to share documents relating to the crimes with the Argentinian forensic expert must be cause for great concern,” the WPA said in a statement.

Dr. Luis Fondebrider earlier this week said he did not get a definitive answer from the Police Commissioner, Crime Chief or the Home Affairs Minister about the provision of copies of  reports and other documents he has requested.

Neither the government nor the Guyana Police Force has said whether  it would take up the offer for a more detailed scientific probe of the incidents. Isaiah and Joel Henry were found dead and their bodies badly hacked aback Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice on September 6, 2020 one day after they had left their Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice home and gone to pick coconuts to sell. Three days later, during the peak of unrest, the body of Haresh Singh was found next to his burnt motorcycle  minutes after he had left his home to tend to his farm at Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice.

The WPA  demanded the police and government to come clean on what it knows about the murder of Joel and Isaiah Henry and Henry cousins and Haresh Singh.  That small opposition party says the refusal by the police High Command to share documents relating to the crimes  with the forensic expert is a cause for great concern.

Questioning what the police are hiding, the WPA says relentless pressure on the government  and police must be maintained to get them to come clean.

Dr. Fondebrider has asked for the crime  scene and autopsy reports, maps of the crime scenes, the names of the labs where samples were sent to be tested, and pictures of the bodies. He had also wanted to visit the mortuary before he left Guyana yesterday.

Meanwhile, the WPA expressed grave concern that the police again appeared prone to unleashing violence on ordinary citizens, in the wake of the alleged assault of Gail Johnson and her son, Colwyn Henry earlier this week as they were returning home from Dr. Fondebrider’s lecture at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Brickdam, Georgetown.

“WPA, therefore, calls on the government to change course—return Guyana a zone of non-violence where citizens do not live in fear of arbitrary police aggression. . The government cannot call on citizens to act non- violently while it creates the conditions for and enables police violence.

WPA calls on all Guyanese to raise their voices in righteous indignation at this latest instance of police over-reach. To remain silent or to excuse the behavior of the police ranks as routine is inexcusable,” that party said in a statement.

Police said Mr. Henry refused to park and exit the car after he could not produce his driver’s licence to traffic cops on duty outside the Sparendaam Police Station, East Coast Demerara. They alleged that he physically refused to enter the station, verbally abused the police and threatened to have them killed. Police also alleged that Ms. Johnson pulled off a reflector vest from one of the policemen and damaged his uniform.

But the party flayed the Police Commissioner, Nigel Hoppie for failing to frontally address the issue of police violence and instead sought to discredit Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes’ account of the incident.