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Gov’t says no to Torture Inquiry

Colwyn HardinghardingThe opposition controlled National Assembly has passed a motion for the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry into cases of torture by the Police Force. But the Commission is unlikely to be set up with the government withholding support.

Opposition Leader David Granger took the motion to the House, saying that it has been widely reported that persons were tortured by members of the Guyana Police Force between the years 2006 and 2013.

The motion which was passed with the opposition majority in the House called for a Commission of Inquiry to not only inquire into the torture of persons by members of the Guyana Police Force but also to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence of such torture.

The government did not support the motion, with the chief whip of the governing PPP Gail Teixeira saying systems need to be strengthened to prevent torture.

Former Police Commissioner and now Parliamentarian Winston Felix said that it takes a government that is willing to abide by issues and requirements of good governance in order to establish a professional police force. The government has never acted on motions and Bills pushed through the House by the opposition using its authority. At the outset of his presidency, President Ramotar had said he would not implement decisions taken in the House without the support of the PPP/C side of the House, and he has made good on that statement, and so it is unlikely that he would appoint a Commission of Inquiry into allegations of torture.

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