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President of the University of Guyana Students’ Society not pleased with Army’s tactics of apprehending student – 14th Feb 2013

An attempt by the GDF to take one of its soldiers out of a class at the University of Guyana failed, but the President of the University of Guyana Students’ Society, Ganesh Mahipaul is not amused at the disruption it caused. Mahipaul said this is the second such incident in as many days at the University.

The GDF recently put out a notice with the photographs of 10 soldiers and officers it says are Absent without leave. Of the 10, one has turned himself in, at least one is out of the country and another was removed from a class at the University of Guyana on Tuesday. Mahipaul said that as far as he is aware there is a procedure for the army to follow in cases like this one.

Some of the men identified have said that they only knew the Army wanted them when they saw the notice in the newspapers and they believe that the intention of the army is to publicly embarrass them. One senior army official told Capitol News that the Army is following standard procedure with respect to placing the notice in the press. He said in this case, some of those being sought have benefited from training and have not returned to the Army. In such cases, he said once they are found they will be arrested, tried before the army’s court or court-martialed and they can face imprisonment for up to 2 years. The GDF has been criticized in the past for what some recaptured AWOL soldiers had described as inhumane treatment. Any member of the GDF who stays away from work for more than 21 days without any known reason is considered AWOL and could be subject to disciplinary action.

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