Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Head of state and government: Donald Ramotar

Police ill-treatment remained a concern. Violence against women and girls was also a concern, and conviction rates for sexual offences remained low.


Following commitments made during Guyana's UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010, the government finally began public consultations on corporal punishment in schools. However, consultations into the abolition of the death penalty, the repeal of legislation criminalizing consensual same-sex relations, and discrimination against LGBTI people, to which the government also committed in 2010, had yet to begin by the end of the year.

Following a vote of no confidence by the opposition in August, in November the President announced a suspension of the National Assembly for up to six months, citing among other things the urgent need to address "issues relating to economic growth".

Torture and other ill-treatment

Colwyn Harding alleged that he was sodomized with a police baton during his arrest by police on 15 November 2013 in Timehri. On 2 June 2014, two police officers were charged with causing actual bodily harm, and one of them was also charged with common assault.

On 30 April, 15-year-old Alex Griffith was allegedly shot in the mouth by a police officer playing "Russian roulette" with his firearm. The police officer was investigating an armed robbery allegedly committed against a member of the officer's family. The officer was charged in June with unlawful assault and discharging a firearm with intent to maim.

Both cases were still before the courts at the end of the year.

Violence against women and girls

Physical and sexual violence against women and girls remained a concern. According to reports, more than 140 cases of rape had been reported to the police by early September. Conviction rates for sexual offences remained low. The Ministry of Legal Affairs stated in April that there had been no conviction for sexual offences in any of the 22 cases heard in 2012 and 2013.

Implementation of the Sexual Offences Act, enacted in February 2013, and the National Domestic Violence Policy, launched in June 2008, remained very slow. Concerns were raised by women's rights advocates that there was no political will to fully implement either act. For example, judicial, law enforcement and health officials had not received sufficient training on the new acts, and the public had not been sufficiently made aware of the important changes to protect the lives of women and girls that came into force with the enactment of these laws. A National Plan for the Prevention of Sexual Violence had yet to be drafted, despite the new legislation stipulating its creation.

Freedom of expression

In November, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested precautionary measures on behalf of staff at the newspaper Kaieteur News after they received threats.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Consensual sex between men remained criminalized. There were continuing reports of discrimination against LGBTI persons, particularly transgender persons.

Four transgender individuals were fired upon from a passing vehicle on the night of 7 April in central Georgetown. According to reports, the police refused to take their complaint, and Georgetown Public Hospital refused to treat them.

Death penalty

In December, Guyana voted for the fifth time against a UN resolution to establish a moratorium on executions, despite the promise to hold a national consultation on the issue.

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