Guyana to ask Suriname to explain treatment of arrested Guyanese fishermen

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2024, 23:52 by Writer

President Irfaan Ali on Thursday said the Suriname government would be formally asked to explain why a number of detained Guyanese fishermen have been prevented from speaking with their lawyers.

Minutes after he was briefed by Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hugh Todd that lawyers, who were hired by the Guyana Embassy in Suriname, were prohibited from seeing the detainees, Dr Ali said a letter would be dispatched to Suriname. “I’ve asked for a full investigation into this and for the Ministry to officially write to get the reasons why the lawyers were denied the opportunity to meet with them,” he told a news conference.

The Guyanese leader vowed that his administration would be following the welfare of the fisherfolk who were arrested allegedly in Surinamese waters. “Definitely, this is a matter we are going to pursue to the fullest,” he said. After receiving more information about what had transpired with the Guyanese nationals, he said the Guyana government would decide the next steps to be taken.

Sources in Paramaribo say that six Guyanese fishermen were arrested on May 28 – five in June 9 and two on June 13.

On the issue of the administration of Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi’s years-old promise to grant 150 fishing licences to Guyanese fisherfolk, Dr Ali said “we’ve not given up on this” and his government has expressed “deep concern at the failure of Suriname to grant these licences.”