9th September 2020

The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Guyana expresses its deepest condolences and sincere sympathies to the families of the young men who tragically lost their lives in recent incidents which have occurred in West Coast Berbice.

We unreservedly stand with the families, friends and loved ones of Josiah Henry, Isaiah Henry, Haresh Singh (all now deceased) together with other members of society and organizations in calling for a comprehensive, transparent, impartial and efficient investigation, followed by a timely prosecution so that the perpetrators who caused the horrific loss of these teenage lives can be brought to justice. This process is due to every victim of a crime.

The Bar Council while empathizing with the inconsolable loss and sorrow of the relatives of these young men, is nevertheless compelled to and must condemn in the strongest terms, the unlawful actions of other members of society over the past three days which have caused:

  • The loss of life;
  • The incitement of hatred and ill will by persons in our society against our neighbours and other members of society;
  • The unprovoked acts of violence;
  • The malicious destruction of property; and
  • The disruption of livelihoods.

Not only do the condemned actions violate many of our Criminal Laws but they threaten the foundation of our society and the Rule of Law.

Guyana remains a developing democracy, built on the Rule of Law, respect for Human Rights and regard for our collective human dignity. We have come too far as a society to permit ourselves to descend into anarchy and back to bleak days. We all owe a collective responsibility to each other to live in peace and not in pieces.

We urge members of society and leaders to be responsible in their actions and respect the Rule of Law, in addressing the recent events which have taken place in West Coast Berbice.