[www.inewsguyana.com] – The members of the Interim National Youth Council have expressed ‘outrage and deep disgust’ at the continuing Human Rights abuses meted to the young people of Guyana.
According to the body, the gravity and scale of human rights abuses point to a failure of the State to guarantee even the most fundamental of rights of its citizens and in particular its young people.
The Youth Council recalled that “within the last several months we have heard of the Colwyn Harding torture, the shooting of young Alex Griffith by a police officer, the startling revelations of alleged abuses and sexual molestation of girls attached to the New Opportunity Corps and just yesterday, (June 2), a 19 year old teenager brutalized in police custody. All of these young people, as young as fifteen years, were in the care of the State. Still we remember the case of Traeon Thomas whose genitals were horrifically burnt by the police and Damien Belgrave for whose innocent death no policeman has been prosecuted. These are but a few names on an ever expanding list of injustices and crimes against humanity that we, as a nation, can no longer afford to turn a blind eye.”
The Council said that the fact that these cases remain inadequately addressed and unresolved is of concern to its membership, adding that the deafening silence and inaction by many decision and policy makers are creating a fertile environment for more young people to lose confidence in governance and our institutions. “It further reinforces the need for greater constituent youth participation in decision making. “
The Council said it is prepared to engage political and administrative leadership, including the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, towards finding long lasting solutions to these problems.
“We unequivocally, unreservedly, and irrepressibly call for Justice and the prosecution of wrongdoers as the State’s responsibility. No doubt we believe that fundamental reform is necessary.”
The body called on the Minister of Home Affairs and Acting Police Commissioner to end the culture where officers of the Guyana Police Force play the role of jury, judge and executioner.