Guyanese activist calls for apology, compensation for torture victim

NEW YORK, United States, November 30, 2009 – Guyanese journalist and activist, Mark Benschop, is calling on President Bharat Jagdeo to apologise to a teen tortured last month by two Guyana police officers.

Benschop, who spoke in Brooklyn, New York over the weekend to Guyanese nationals on the current state of Guyana, told Caribworldnews: “I would like the President to apologise to the boy and his family…visit the family and apologise to them; look them in the eyes and apologise personally.”

Benschop also said he feels the current Guyana government should compensate the teen for the horrendous torture and the burning of his genitals.

“I think they should offer free medical treatment and compensate the family whether by giving them land and a decent house and helping the teen, who cannot read and write a tutor so he can eventually take the CXC exams and possibly get a free scholarship to the university,” he said. “Just don’t leave the family hanging. It is shameful and disrespectful.”

Benschop, who spent many years in a Guyana jail on a treason charge before being pardoned by the government, also expressed disappointment in what he said was the non-response by the political parties in Guyana to the plight of the teen and his family. 

“The little boy needs help and no one is coming forth,” said Benschop, adding that his Benschop Foundation has been doing what it can to assist.

“We took him to a private doctor and got him some medication…We raised a $1000 and other people pitched in a few hundred dollars here and there but what is the PPP, PNC and AFC doing?”

Guyana’s Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon announced last week that a report on the torture incident should be made public this week. (Adapted from Caribworldnews)