Police arresting Talk Show Host, Gavin Matthews sends a clear message that criticism against the Irfaan Ali-led administration will not be tolerated. This is tantamount to authoritarianism, says the main Parliamentary Opposition, the Alliance for Change + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC).
Police arrested Matthew yesterday for allegedly breaching Cyber Crime laws. The political commentator, in a recent show, called the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. a murderer and a terrorist. His utterances have allegedly caused the Minister “pain and emotional distress”, one of the arresting officers told Matthews yesterday morning.
But the APNU+AFC has condemned the arrest; accusing the regime of using the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to go after critics. Matthews was placed on a $100,000 bail, GPF sources have disclosed.
Seee full statement from the APNU+AFC below:
The APNU+AFC Coalition condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of online talk show host, Gavin Matthews. This latest vile act again highlights the absolute and authoritarian nature of the PPP regime.
The PPP regime continues to wantonly use the Guyana Police Force as a political weapon to target and persecute citizens who challenge their thin-skinned leaders.
The PPP regime is sending a clear message through the arrest of Mr. Matthews, that it does not tolerate any criticism or being held accountable and that those who attempt to do so will be targeted and severely punished.
The APNU+AFC Coalition sees the arrest of Mr. Matthews as an attack on all Guyanese.
This is a clear case of political persecution and abuse and misuse of the Cyber Crime law.
No citizen is now safe except those in the inner sanctum of the PPP regime. The APNU+AFC calls on all right thinking citizens to condemn, without condition, this vulgar, brazen and corrupt mis-application of the law. This is another violent assault on democracy in Guyana.
The PPP has a sordid history of harassing and prosecuting citizens who publicly criticize their members. We warned of this repeatedly.
Harassment and prosecution of citizens who exercise their right to free speech cannot be done in the name of the breaching the Cyber Crime Law. If so, it appears that the regime is selectively applying the law, because those who are part of the regime are spared when they commit similar acts.
We also wish to place on record once more, that the Guyana Police Force, at all material times must act as a professional organization and resist the persistent attempts by the PPP cabal to persecute citizens who oppose the PPP.
Guyanese must, therefore, defend their constitutional rights which are under attack. The APNU+AFC coalition calls for the unconditional release of Mr. Gavin Matthews and an end to his persecution and the persecution of others.