Friday, January 11, 2008

Mail Trail...Guyana Bar Association concerns

The Guyana Bar Association (GBA) wishes to record its grave concern over the manner in which recent allegations involving torture as well as alleged misconduct on the part of a government minister have been and continue to be addressed.

The GBA has hitherto withheld comment on these matters since it was felt that a fair opportunity should be given for the investigations that were launched to be conducted and concluded in a timely manner.

However more than ample time and opportunity has elapsed with no discernable conclusions in sight to these erstwhile probes. Meanwhile more allegations and evidence of torture have surfaced raising more questions on top of those that are still unanswered. It is also now a matter of public record that the minister has admitted to discharging a firearm in a public place, whilst seeking to proffer a justification. These and other developments suggest that there is now more than enough information upon which charges can be properly laid.

Taken against the backdrop of the current campaign against violence, it seems inconsistent that whilst violence against women and children is condemned, and rightly so, other incidences of violence are treated with less priority and concern and made to seem somehow tolerable, a notion that is repugnant and in contradiction to the maintenance of the rule of law in our society.

Allegations of torture as well as incidences of alleged misconduct on the part of government officials are not trivial matters and if not addressed in a timely and proper manner, cast a dark and unsavoury shadow over the entire policing and justice system since an Orwellian impression can be created that some are more equal than others.

The GBA therefore urges that these investigations be concluded without further delay and that all those found culpable be made to face the consequences.

Essential justice demands no less.

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