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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                        

Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Police violence, abuse of detainees, and harsh, overcrowded prison conditions persist in Guyana

[Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Description: Guyana

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Guyana.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Guyana

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 22 July 2021]


In 2018 the government released the findings of a 2017 independent study funded by the Inter-American Development Bank that found prison officers physically abused prisoners. In 2018 the government reported the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent found that prison conditions at Lusignan Prison were appalling and cells were unfit for human habitation. Prisoners reported unsanitary conditions and a lack of potable water, and they also complained of lengthy confinement in their cells with limited opportunities for sunlight.


Pretrial Detention: Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem, due primarily to judicial inefficiency, staff shortages, and cumbersome legal procedures. The average length of pretrial detention was three years for those awaiting trial at a magistrates’ court or in the High Court. This often exceeded the maximum possible sentence for the crime for which they were charged.

Freedom House Country Report -

2018 Edition

[accessed 12 May 2020]


Police violence, abuse of detainees, and harsh, overcrowded prison conditions persist in Guyana.

Torture at Sparendaam Police Station

Leroy Smith and Asif Hakim, Guyana Chronicle, 3 June 2014

[accessed 8 June 2014]

[accessed 26 July 2017]

After taking it upon himself to pour methylated spirits on the hands of a 19-year-old boy and then setting them alight at the Sparendaam Police Station, the aberrant police officer got the father of the teen to sign a document for $100,000, which was handed over to him.

The Guyana Chronicle was informed that the intention of the police officer were to induce the relatives of the young man to consider it as a form of compensation, thus persuading them from pursuing the matter in court.

It was a time of torture and mayhem

Neil Adams, Guyana Chronicle, 6 May 2014

[accessed 8 May 2014]

[accessed 26 July 2017]

Those who opposed the PNC (however mild their criticism) were either rounded up, tortured, or even killed, and Rodney’s murder is a case in point. Talk about man’s inhumanity to man, those were the days – days of extreme police brutality as some persons just simply disappeared and, to add insult to injury, no one dared question the actions of the police. The police was “owned and controlled” by the PNC Regime. So, when I hear present day jokers the likes of Freddie Kissoon and Ramjattan speak of police brutality and extra judicial killings I gasp in disbelief and wonder which part of the world these guys lived when the ‘PNC brigade’, that’s the name I called the police then, held sway.

PNCR to seek probe of all police torture, shootings over last 20 years

Stabroek News, 25 Jan 2014

[accessed 28 Jan 2014]

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) today said that it will move to have every act of torture or shooting by the police over the last 20 years investigated.

Brigadier David Granger. In his address Granger said that the PNCR was committed to inclusionary democracy and respect for workers. Towards this end he said that the party had declared 2014 Year for Workers and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU} had called for a social contract to promote national unity, ensure human safety and foster economic development. The party leader reminded the Council that the PNCR started as a working class party and pledged the party’s continued support for the working men and women in Guyana. Granger also said that APNU would advocate for the human rights of all Guyanese citizens. He said that the  Partnership will seek to have investigated every act of torture in the last 20 years; every shooting in the past 20 years; Brigadier Granger said “we (PNCR) will work  to protect the rights of persons who suffer police brutality and will not rest until there is  good governance.

Acts of torture by Guyanese police must be punished

Amnesty International AI, 4 November 2009

[accessed 22 Jan 2014]

[accessed 26 July 2017]

Media in the Caribbean country report that two police officers were detained in connection with the torture of the 15-year-old boy.   The teenager was arrested on 27 October and taken the next day to Leonora police station, 12 miles west of the capital Georgetown, where he was beaten.   When he refused to sign a confession, police officers held him down and doused his genital area with a flammable liquid, which they set alight.   He was not given proper medical treatment or access to legal representation until 31 October, despite repeated attempts by his lawyers and family to see him.

Deonarine Rafick was struck by a piece of wood on his back, legs, buttocks, face and scalp, while being held in Leonora on 27 October. According to his testimony, the inside of his mouth was also burnt with cigarettes.   He was forced to sign a confession stating that he was involved in the murder. His lawyers were only granted access to him on 29 October despite repeated previous attempts.   He was brought before a court and charged with murder on 30 October. His face was visibly bruised and the wound on his scalp had not been stitched.   He is currently in prison pending a preliminary investigation. According to his lawyer and family, he has not yet received medical attention.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/GUY/CO/1 (2006)

[accessed 1 March 2013]

D. Subjects of concern and recommendations

6. The Committee notes that it is not clear whether all acts of torture are offences under the State party’s criminal law (arts. 1 and 4).

The State party should take the necessary legislative measures to ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law in accordance with the definition contained in article 1 of the Convention, and that these offences are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 2 January 1, 2019]

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Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 29 January 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the law prohibits torture, and there no reports of its use, allegations of police abuse of suspects continued. The PCA received 61 complaints of unlawful arrest and 3 of unnecessary use of violence during the year.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Guyana ",, [accessed <date>]