President condemns attack on Indigenous youth

–Police investigating the matter, one in custody

DPI, Guyana, Friday, February 21, 2020

His Excellency President David Granger has condemned a “politically motivated” attack on an Indigenous youth by persons affiliated with another political party.

“We have received some very disturbing reports of hooliganism in Region Two. A person associated with Coalition was badly beaten by people associated with another political party and those reports are being investigated,” the President stated this morning.

The youth in question, Vivian Henry, was attacked on February 18. “A report will be made to the ERC (Ethnic Relations Commission). We are convinced that the beating was politically motivated. It was not criminal or social, it was politically motivated,” the Head of State said.

Bringing clarity to the matter, Henry told DPI that he was attacked by four individuals while at a restaurant in Charity. Henry said they began hitting him with bottles, ripped his clothes and punctured his skin. The ordeal lasted for nearly five minutes but no one came to the rescue he related.

“They started verbally attacking me, throwing remarks at me saying Granger people have to die and that the PPP/C leaders are the ones to take this country.”

According to the youth, the men did not appear intoxicated.

“After what transpired, my nose was bleeding. I was traumatized. They took my phone. They took my tablets so I had no mode of communications at that point. I proceeded to the Charity Police Station where I lodged a report and I also got a medical done,” Henry explained.

Henry said that “within twelve hours after the report was made, one of the main suspects who I positively identified by name and appearance was arrested and the matter is still in police custody as they are seeking the other persons involved.”

During a media briefing on Friday afternoon, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency and Co-Chair of the Coalition campaign Joseph Harmon said the APNU+AFC will not sit idly by and allow its supporters to be maltreated.

He stated that whilst one perpetrator was in custody, he hoped that the other will be apprehended and made “to face the full brunt of the law.”

Harmon reminded that contesting political parties signed the Ethnic Relations Commission’s “Code of Conduct” and GECOM has also invited stakeholders to the same.

Harmon explained, whilst the Coalition is prepared to sign onto the latter, he emphasised that all of the Coalition’s Campaign officials are aware what the “Code of Conduct” entails and what a breach would result in.

He indicated that strong complaints have been dispatched the ERC, GECOM and elections’ observer groups, “so that they can understand what is really happening and who is behind what is taking place.”

“As a Coalition, we will not sit idly by and see our workers, our supporters be brutalised by anyone. We will not accept it!”

Police Commander for Region Two, Superintendent Crystal Robinson has said the matter is being investigated.