Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alleged Police Brutality in Seychelles

The police stopped him, slapped him, detained him and kicked him, a man from Port Launay alleges. He adds that the Commissioner of police has given him the assurance that his allegations will be looked into but that he decided to speak out “so that people know it could happen to them”.

“I am speaking out because the public must know that some police officers still beat people up”. Douglas Marie, a resident of Port Launay claims he was beaten up by the police late on Saturday night. He alleges that he was detained overnight at the central police station and was later released without being charged with any offence.

 The twist in Mr Marie’s story is the fact that he met with the Commissioner of Police, Ernest Quatre, yesterday morning to complain about the treatment he claims he received from some members of the force. “I was very glad that the Commissioner of police saw me, listened to my story, and invited me to go and give a statement to the police. He also asked me to have my glasses repaired and to bring the receipt so I could be reimbursed since the police officers broke my glasses when they slapped me”, he recounts.

 But Douglas Marie insists that the fact that the response of the police was overly positive on Monday will not stop him from speaking out. “People need to know what is happening”, he says, adding that he also went to the State House to complain of his alleged ill-treatment.

 Mr Marie says he was initially stopped while he was driving in the Belvedere area. “There were about 20 police officers on the road and they stopped me. One of them used a torch to blind me and I said he should not do that. He asked me to get out of the car and I did and then I volunteered the information that I had had a beer but insisted that I was driving responsibly. He then slapped me twice and broke my glasses in the process”, Douglas Marie told this newspaper.

 The man who is a cook by trade avers that he was then taken to the police station in Mont Fleuri where he gave a statement admitting to the fact that he had consumed alcohol. “I then asked for permission to call someone to come and drive me home or alternatively to get me a taxi to get home”, Mr Marie continues. But according to him, the police then took him to the central police station where he was put in a cell with seven other people.

“When I asked to call my lawyer, they came in and started kicking me to the extent that the other detainees had to tell the officers to stop”. Mr Marie further claims that he was transferred to another cell – and, he continues, “there’s a camera there to prove what I say” - where he was beaten further.

 Douglas Marie affirms that he was only allowed to leave the next morning. “I was in pain and asked a police officer to help me up and he said it wasn’t his job. A Nepalese police officer then decided to help me up and he put me in a jeep and dropped me home”, Douglas Marie further says.

 The Port Launay inhabitant says he met up with Police Commissioner yesterday morning and was pleasantly surprised by the courtesy that was extended to him and the reassurance that they will look into the matter.

 Police spokesperson Marie-Neige Philoe confirmed to this newspaper that the Police Commissioner did indeed receive Douglas Marie yesterday morning pertaining to his complaints but adds that she could not confirm the Port Launay resident’s version of events as the police enquiry has only just been opened.
“Next time the police stop me on the road, I will be scared to stop”, Douglas Marie concluded.