Last Updated: Friday, 09 December 2016, 15:34 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2006 - Guyana

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 23 May 2006
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2006 - Guyana, 23 May 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7a925.html [accessed 10 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

There were reports of killings by a "death squad" allegedly involving serving and former police officers. The criminal justice system failed to bring vast numbers of cases of sexual violence against women to trial.

Death penalty

No executions took place but 21 people remained on death row – 19 men and two women.

Guyana formally adopted the Caribbean Court of Justice, inaugurated in April, as its highest appellate court. Since independence in 1970, the Court of Appeal of Guyana had been the final court of appeal.

'Death squad'

In April a Presidential Commission found that there was no evidence of "a credible nature" linking the Home Affairs Minister to the activities of an alleged "death squad". In June, following international pressure, the Minister resigned. According to reports, several witnesses failed to appear before the Commission because of fears for their safety.

In August a high court overturned the decision of a lower court to charge an alleged hit-woman with the June 2004 murder of George Bacchus. He was shot dead days before he was due to testify in a trial related to "death squad" killings.

The separate killings of five people between August and September were attributed in the news media to "death squad" activities.

Violence against women

According to a report by the Guyana Human Rights Association, in only nine out of 647 rapes reported from 2000 to 2004 was the perpetrator convicted. The report detailed a rise of some 30 per cent in the incidence of sexual violence against women, and a 16-fold increase in statutory rape cases from 2000 to 2004. Only three per cent of rape cases filed over the five-year period resulted in a trial. The report pointed to "deficiencies and weaknesses in the justice system".

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