Arson attempted at Guyana Human Rights Centre

Attempts were made on Sunday morning to burn down the Guyana Human Rights Centre located at Hadfield and Austin Place, Georgetown.
This incident comes on the heels of several arsonist attacks on public buildings across the country.

The damage done to the front door of the Guyana Human Rights Centre during the arson attack

In a statement to the media, the Guyana Human Rights Association said 13 windows were smashed and the front door badly burnt before public-spirited neighbours were able to extinguish the fire.
Access to the building was not achieved, but whether this was intended is unclear, the Association said.
“Neighbours were awoken by the sound of broken glass. Their shouts were sufficient for the perpetrator(s) to flee. Later, neighbours were again alerted by security guards at nearby buildings that a fire was in progress at the front door,” GHRA explained.
The neighbours organised a bucket brigade to staunch the fire which left the front door badly burnt. A tyre had been set alight to burn the front door. All that remained of the tyre were the fine metal wires used in its construction.
Police officials visited the scene, took reports and photographed the damage.

Burnt tyres at the scene

The Guyana Human Rights Centre houses the offices of the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) which commemorated its 40th anniversary last year.  Over the past four years, the Centre has provided office space for Policy Forum Guyana.
The building was constructed by local fund-raising efforts of the GHRA membership and was opened in 1997.
In recent weeks, attempts were made to burn down the Criminal Investigation Department at Anna Regina and an abandoned Army Base at Maria’s Lodge along the Essequibo Coast.
A 24-year-old man identified as Keyon Davis has since been arrested and charged for setting fires to the public buildings.

The GDF building in Essequibo that was destroyed by fire

Additionally, the Sub-Divisional Office of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was destroyed by fire. The incident is being treated as arson but to date, no one has been arrested.
Meanwhile, attempts were also made to burn down one of the country’s most famed landmarks, the Umana Yana located at Kingston, Georgetown. No arrests have been made in relation to this incident.

The CID Department in Essequibo

There was also an attempt to start a fire at the Suriname Embassy in Guyana located at Anira and New Garden Streets, Georgetown. Molotov Cocktails – also known as petrol bombs – were thrown at the building, but no considerable damage was caused. Investigations into this incident are also ongoing.