[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Rights of the Child Commission has expressed its alarm at the promotion of two policemen who were charged with the torture of a child in 2008 at the Leonora Police Station.
The decision by the Police Service Commission (PSC) to promote the ranks – Mohanran Dolai and Narine Lall has received widespread condemnation from sections of society.
The Child Rights Commission says the PSC’s decision is a significant departure from Article 19 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child and called for an immediate rescinding of the promotions.
The Commission’s statement is as follows:
The Rights of the Child Commission, views with alarm, the recent promotion of two policemen, both of whom, were found to have tortured a child. After a careful assessment of the facts relating to this case, the Commissioners concluded that these promotions constitute a significant departure from the spirit and intent of Article 19 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child which establishes the right of the child to be free from hurt both in body and mind.
Moreover, the Commissioners noted, that in addition to its breach of the UNCRC, the promotions also collide violently with Guyana’s treaty obligations under the UN Convention Against torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
The Commissioners reviewed the fact that the culpability of the policemen in question is beyond dispute, in view of the findings of the GPF’s own Office of Professional Responsibility and the decision by Justice Roxanne George in a civil case.
The Commissioners deemed as unconvincing the pronouncement that the two policemen would have under gone sufficient censure. The Commissioners posited that the malevolence and depravity of torture, constitutes the worst form of human rights infraction.
Thus, the Commissioners concluded that, such malevolence and depravity, when imbued into the promotion equation, abolishes any legitimate and meritocratic prospect of promotion. The Commissioners mentioned that the singularity of the infraction does not in any meaningful way depreciate its depravity.
The Commissioners also found as unconvincing the reference to chapter 17:01 of the Police Act, as the decision by Justice George effectively took this matter beyond the confines of the Police Act and showed that the High Court of Guyana found this infraction to be repugnant to the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana as well as to the international treaties to which Guyana is a signatory.
The Commissioners reviewed the fact that ever since the unveiling of the Disciplined Forces Commission’s Report, the Guyana Police Force has embarked on a process of reform. Such has included ventures of community engagements, partnership with youth based NGO’s etc. These endeavours are to be commended. However, the promotion of policemen found linked to the torturing of a child will undermine the process of reform and will moreover corrode public faith in the police to effectively discharge their mandate, centred on service and protection. In a word, these promotions are not in the interest of the GPF, and as a significant corollary, not in the interest of law and order.
Also, the commissioners have noted that at the recent Universal Periodic Review Working Group meeting in Switzerland, statements of concern have been raised about the prevalence of police excesses in Guyana. Such promotions will only serve to aggravate and entrench further international concern.
The Rights of the Child Commission, at a minimum, calls for the immediate rescinding of these promotions.