Father of Isaiah says he doesn’t support race-baiting protest, attacks on East Indians

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“I am not racist, I still love my Indian brothers and sisters,” were the words of Gladson Henry, the father of murdered Berbice teen Isaiah Henry, 16, and cousin of Joel Henry, 19, as he appealed for the protests calling for justice for his son’s murder to remain peaceful.

Henry was speaking just after witnessing the Post Mortem Examination of the two boys; Wednesday marks four days since protest erupted along the West Coast of Berbice and spread to several parts of the country.

While the Police investigation is still ongoing with no clear motive as yet for the gruesome murders, demonstrators have regarded it as a hate crime, fuelled by race.

But the grieving elder Henry doesn’t seem to fully agree with the turn of events in the protest action which have seen attacks on persons of East Indian descent, damage of property, robberies and fire set to vehicles, houses and businesses.

Protest action at No. 1 Road, Corentyne, Berbice

“I am not supporting unmoral protesting… if you want to protest, which is your right, you must do it peacefully and in doing it peacefully we cannot be fighting against one another,” the father added.

He said neither himself nor his son was racial and even in the aftermath of his son’s death, he holds no ill will against any race but only wants the perpetrators of the crime to be brought to justice, regardless of ethnicity.

“The person that commit the act should pay for the crime, don’t attack people because of their race,” he noted.

“I am not a racial person. I born in #3 [Village] and I live among Indian people, we eat together, we sleep together; the majority of my friends is Indian friends and because of how I was moving they give me a nickname, and that nickname is geerah and the meaning of geerah is that they come up with is because geerah have to go in the dhall and the majority of friends is Indian,” he explained.

Dead: Isaiah and Joel Henry

He said his now dead son also had a lot of East Indian friends.

“Let’s not see this thing as black or white or Chinese because if a black man had done this and it wasn’t my family, I believe in my heart that he will have to pay the penalty.”

The Police are investigating reports of illegal activity committed on innocent passersby during the protest action, including reports of armed robberies.

The battered bodies of the boys were discovered on Sunday last in Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. Seven persons remain in custody over the brutal murders.

The killers carved out a huge ‘X’ on Isaiah’s head while they cut open Joel’s chest. The boys resided at Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice.

They were last seen alive on September 5 when they left to go into the backdam to pick coconuts.

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