Opposition submits motions calling for parliamentary condemnation
WCB teens’ murders
…wants CoI into deadly Lusignan Prison unrest
The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) on Monday submitted two motions in regards to the gruesome murders of three teenagers at West Coast Berbice and the deadly unrest at the Lusignan Prison, to the Clerk of the National Assembly.
The motions were submitted in the name of shadow Home Affairs Minister, Geeta Chandan Edmond. The first motion is seeking to have the National Assembly condemn the gruesome killings of West Coast Berbice teenagers – Joel and Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh and express condolences to their relatives.
It is also seeking to have the National Assembly call on the Guyana Police Force to expedite the investigations into the deaths of the teenagers and ensure justice is served swiftly.
On September 6, 2020, the badly mutilated bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were found in the backlands at West Coast Berbice (WCB) after they had left their Number Three Village home to pick coconuts but did not return home. Then, on September 9, 2020, 17-year-old Haresh Singh was found murdered at the Number Three Village backlands in what was dubbed a retaliatory killing.
Speaking on the issue of the first motion, former Speaker of the House Raphael Trotman said it has been 71 days since the killing of the Henry boys and just about 68 since Singh was slain but the police seem to be getting nowhere in their investigations.
Already, there have been several days of protests as a result of the murders. Debris and tyres have been burned at several villages along the East Coast Demerara and West Coast Berbice corridor. Vehicles were destroyed, persons were attacked and robbed by protesters.
Trotman noted that the buck does not stop with Parliament rather the APNU/AFC intends to table such motions at the level of every Regional Democratic Council and municipality throughout Guyana.
The police, earlier this month, announced a $3 million reward for any information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the murders of Isaiah and Joel and Singh. Just last week the police said that they had received information which led to the arrest of five men. The police did not say whether the men were released but to date, no charges were brought against any one for the murders.
Lusignan Prison unrest
Meanwhile, the other motion is calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the shooting to death of two Lusignan prisoners and injuring of five during the September 19 unrests at the facility.
Earl Graham, 51, who was serving three months’ jail time for malicious wounding, assault and resisting arrest and Winston Herbert, 21, who was facing a rape charge, were shot and killed.
On September 19, the prisoners had refused to accept meals as they called for a meeting with the Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn and Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony to discuss their concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation at the prison. The call for the meeting had stemmed from the announcement that two inmates at the facility tested positive for the virus.
The Ministers had met with the prisoners but during the subsequent discussion with the Ministers and the inmates of Holding Bay One, some prisoners from Bays Two, Three and Four became aggressive and began throwing missiles. The Ministers left and the situation rapidly degenerated and became riotous with some prisoners scaling the inner fence of the Holding Bay, thus entering the restricted area, and launching attacks on the prison officers within the compound, who had to flee to safety. In response to the situation, and in a bid to contain same, ranks posted within the towers discharged several shots in the general direction of the gate, which resulted in the injury of seven inmates and restoration of relative calm to the situation.
Meanwhile, Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs promised to get it to Speaker Nadir with great urgency.
“As Clerk of the National Assembly, I am required under Standing Order 27 to receive motions. I receive them, read them as we say in Parliament, against the Standing Orders and then submit them to the Speaker with my views. The Speaker would then determine whether they are in order or not. I wish to assure you that I would do this with dispatch. I would look at them immediately. Mr Speaker is out of the country, he is out of the jurisdiction, he is expected today so I will get it to him tonight or tomorrow,” Isaacs said.