World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Guyana: death squad killings inquiry needed

Guyana: Need for immediate inquiry into death squad killings

Amnesty International today urged the President of Guyana to open an immediate inquiry into allegations that a 'death squad' has tortured, "disappeared" and killed dozens of individuals since 2002.

"Serious allegations suggesting that members of the security forces may be involved in illegal killings are currently in the public domain. In the interests of protecting human rights and the security of all Guyanese citizens, the Government must take immediate action to prevent further killings and ensure that the culprits are identified and brought to justice." said Amnesty International.

The Government must send a strong message that it will not tolerate such crimes and must insist upon a full and independent inquiry.

Amnesty International is urging the Government to seek all necessary assistance to help undertake such an investigation. Technical expertise in areas such as pathology, forensic science and ballistics should be sought.


In recent weeks, allegations emerging from a number of different sources of the existence of a death squad have been widely reported in the Guyana's press.

A recent report of the Disciplined Forces Commission, submitted to the National Assembly in December 2003, made reference to the possible existence of a 'phantom' squad. In January 2004, George Bacchus declared that he used to be an informant for the group and accused the Minister of Home Affairs of possible involvement. He also alleged that three men charged with the murder of his brother, Shafeek Bacchus, on 5 January 2004, were members of the death squad.

Two of the three charged are former police officers; one of whom died on 1 February 2004 in disputed circumstances in Georgetown hospital.

Reports have suggested that the death squad was formed following a wave of organized crime in 2002. It allegedly killed suspected criminals, or those with links to known criminals, including several men who escaped from Georgetown prison on 23 February 2002, as well as others. Reports indicate that the bodies of some of those killed have yet to be discovered. Others allegedly bore marks of torture.

View all documents on Guyana at

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news