Investigation launched into miners beaten by Russian guards

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One of the assaulted miners with handcuffs wrapped around a post

In light of a video on social media showing what appears to be a Russian security guard torturing and beating Guyanese miners near the Quartzstone River, Region 7, (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), an investigation into the incident has been launched by the police.

Police Commander ‘F’ Division (Interior Locations), Kevin Adonis when contacted said that they would have received an official complaint on Sunday by a miner who claimed that he was brutalized by a group of Russian guards attached to the West Bank Demerara Gold Inc.

He explained that there was evidence on the miner’s body which suggested that he was beaten and tortured and as such, he was transported to Georgetown where he will undergo a medical examination.

Further, Adonis explained that the young man is expected to return to Bartica where he will be joined by a team of police ranks and they will travel to the location where the incident reportedly took place.

Once there, he added a thorough investigation will be launched and the findings will be disseminated to the public.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) on Monday called on the government to investigate the alleged torture, harassment, assault and abuse of Guyanese miners and workers allegedly by Russian nationals.

The group has written to President David Granger and the Ministers of Legal Affairs, National Security and Natural Resources, acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, and Chairman of the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission (GGMC), Stanley Ming calling for the alleged torture not to be condoned.

The group in a release stated that on April 3, 2018, two employees of Hopkinson Mining Logistics were executing duties on their employer’s concession when they were intercepted by two expatriate, Russian operatives who made every attempt to prohibit them from doing so.

As such, a security officer of Hopkinson recorded the incident with his cellular phone.  The video recording showed a Russian operative who is known in the concession area as “Batali,” demanding documentation and challenging the two employee’s right to be on their employer’s claim and subsequently attempted to block their access.

The video showed “Batali” punching one of the men to his face and as the employee attempted to defend himself, the Russian expatriate punched him a second time, then pulled a gun on them.

“CGID has also obtained additional evidence of a separate incident in which the said Russians allegedly handcuffed another mining worker and tied him onto the roof of a structure and tortured him. The worker was reportedly forced to urinate and defecate while hanging from the roof. These are very serious allegations”, the group stated in a release to the media on Monday.

After considering the seriousness of the incident, the CGID is calling on Guyanese to join in condemnation of these despicable atrocities.

Moreover, the Russian security guard allegedly displayed a Guyana Police Force supernumerary constable precept- an instrument that licenses security guards to carry a firearm.

In light of the alleged reckless actions of the Russian operative, CGID posited that it is concerned about the issuance and maintenance of a Guyana Police Force precept for the particular guard to bear arms.

“CGID therefore calls on the Police Commissioner to launch a criminal investigation into the actions of the Russians guards, who should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be criminally culpable”, the group stated.

Minister of Natural Resources, Rapheal Trotman, was also quoted in sections of the media calling on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to launch an investigation into the matter.

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