Army launches probe into alleged beating of homosexual
Stabroek News
August 19, 2002

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The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has launched an investigation into an incident involving a group of homosexuals and has rejected an allegation that physical abuse was meted out by two ranks as a result of a refusal to perform oral sex.

The homosexuals, who visited Stabroek News earlier this week, claimed that their colleague, Smithy, was badly beaten during the incident on August 10 and was in tremendous pain.

According to them, they were in the vicinity of Robb Street and the Avenue of the Republic on their way to a party, when an army vehicle with about seven soldiers in uniform stopped alongside them. They said that two of the soldiers disembarked and approached them and because the men were armed they ran into a yard to hide.

However, Smithy was accosted, and, according to the group, the soldiers demanded that he perform oral sex on them for the cost of $140. They said he refused, informing them that it would cost $1,000 for such an act. They claimed their friend was gun-butted to the head and beaten about the body with guns by both soldiers.

An army source said that while an incident did occur on that date it was not what the group claimed.

The source said that every night the army patrols between Timehri and Georgetown led by a senior officer. The source said that on the night in question, the patrol was in the vicinity of Robb Street and the Avenue of the Republic and observed a homosexual dressed in a camouflage three quarter pants.

According to the source, the ranks stopped and demanded that the man take off the pants. “I must admit that it might have been the wrong way to approach the matter because as a result there was a confrontation,” the source said. However, the ranks did manage to get the pants, which is now lodged at Camp Ayanganna.

The source is of the opinion that the soldiers would not have behaved in the manner alleged by the group in front of a senior rank. “It is highly unlikely for them to carry on in that manner in front of a senior officer. It is not likely that our guys would behave like that.”

He said that the army had since launched an internal investigation into the incident.

He disclosed that the group had visited Camp Ayanganna to lodge a complaint but the junior rank at the gate did not handle the matter well. As a result the investigation will also involve the manner in which the junior soldier took the report.

The group further alleged that another of their friends went to assist Smithy when his wig was pulled off, but ran away without being beaten by the soldiers.