The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), having received a number of complaints, today met with Mikhail Rodrigues popularly known as Guyanese Critic regarding statements made by him on 15 June, 2020 during his live Facebook program.

The commission said that those statements were viewed as insensitive, unethical and anti- Guyanese and caused outrage among the Christian and Black communities.

“It was an attack on the religious beliefs of the Christian community and insulted the intellectual intelligence of Afro-Guyanese. Such conduct is an affront against the bedrock of a unified Guyana. Mr. Rodrigues has accepted his wrongdoings and it is in light of this that he offered a public apology. He has also made an undertaking to the Commission to do all that is necessary under his platform to promote amity,” the ERC said.

The Commission continued: “One of the mandates of the Commission is to encourage mediation in amicably resolving disputes whenever necessary. One of the purposes for punishment is to foster the rehabilitation of offenders. Restitution is not always of paramount concern, and it is in these circumstances that Mr. Rodrigues has been sternly cautioned that any recurrence of his irresponsible remarks will warrant prosecutions against him by the Commission for his conduct.”

The Commission reminds all and sundry that it is a criminal offence under the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03 and the Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01 for anyone to incite racial hatred or violence against any person or against any segment of a society. Racial prejudice is not merely a wrongdoing against morality but it is conduct contrary to the laws which were instituted to abolish and eradicate the antiquated, disruptive, divisive weapon of racism. Anyone convicted of an offence under the Representation of the People Act shall be fined a sum of one hundred thousand dollars together with two years of imprisonment. Anyone convicted of an offence under the Racial Hostility Act shall be fined the sum of five hundred thousand dollars and seven years of imprisonment.

“It is imperative that Guyanese understand the seriousness of exercising any form of hate. The Ethnic Relations Commission encourages the understanding and acceptance of diversity in all aspects of national life as we aim to eliminate the issue of racial and religious profanity. Irrespective of the differences in our beliefs, ethos and culture we are and continue to be One People, One Nation and One Destiny.


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