[www.inewsguyana.com] – The callous manner in which Home Affairs Minister Clement Roheehas responded to questions, posed by the media, on the very serious issue of torture has not gone unnoticed and shows his ignorance of his responsibilities.
This is according to the Alliance for Change (AFC). According to the Party, the Minister’s “off-hand” comments clarify that for him, torture is a trivial matter.
“While Rohee refuses to relinquish the seat of Minister of Home Affairs, he clearly does not understand its functions,” the Party stated, adding that “as the holder of the office of Minister of Home Affairs, Rohee has oversight responsibility for, among other agencies, the Guyana Police Force. That responsibility does not begin and end with making flowery speeches and handing over a few items.”
According to the AFC, to say he does not engage personally in torturing persons in custody and indicate that he has no responsibility to answer for what the police is alleged to have done, is “crass, totally unbecoming of a Minister of an elected government and reeks of contempt for the citizenry.”
“There have been too many reports of police ranks torturing persons in their custody and of abusing the rights of citizens – male ranks abusing female citizens, ranks burning the hands of teenagers, baton-raping a young man, male rank flogging a female, ranks sexually abusing females in their custody and other heinous offences including, the proven case of burning the genitalia of a teenage boy,” the statement added.
Following the award of millions to the victim, whose genitals were burnt while in police custody, the AFC believed that the Minister should have implemented policies to ensure that an incident of similar nature does not recur.
“Instead, Rohee has taken a cavalier attitude and apparently has washed his hands of responsibility for the Guyana Police Force. If that is his position then he ought to resign. Clearly he does not understand that as the person with ministerial responsibility for the Guyana Police Force, whether the prevailing circumstances are good or bad, the ‘buck’ stops with him.”
The AFC concluded that Rohee now has a choice, either shoulder the full responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs or admit he is incompetent and resign.