The main Parliamentary Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has dismissed a wanted bulletin issued by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for the President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), Rickford Burke, as “another attempt to censor dissent”.
The GPF said late last night that Burke is wanted for several offences. They include the following:
1. Offence: The excitement of hostility or ill-will on the grounds of Race. [s. 2 of the Racial Hostility Act. Any person who willfully excites or attempts to excite racial hostility against a particular race by means of words spoken in a public place or transmitted by telegraphy].
2. Offence: Sedition under the Cyber Crime Act. [pursuant to s. 18(1)(a) and (f). the offence is made out if it’s against the government s. 18(1)(a) and if it excites racial divisions (f)]
3. Offence: Use of a computer system to coerce and intimidate under the Cyber Crime Act. [s.19 (3) makes it an offence to disseminate information via computer which is known to be false to damage the reputation of another person].
4. Offence: Seditious Libel [offence at common law. It is the overt speech or conduct to bring hatred and contempt against the Government].
5. Offence: Seditious Libel [s. 320 Criminal Law offences Act 8:01.]
6. Offence: Inciting the provocation of a breach of the peace [provoking a breach of the peace is s.141 Cap 8:02. Inciting any offence is itself an offence]
7. Offence: inciting public terror. Inciting public terror in public places is an offence under s.137 of Cap. 8:01the incitement of persons to go to public places and behave a certain way could be incitement to cause public terror]
But the APNU+AFC is accusing the GPF of being used by the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to silence those who are speaking out against the regime.
See the party’s full statement below:
The APNU-AFC Opposition views the issuance of the wanted bulletin by the Guyana Police Force for the President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID),
Mr Rickford Burke, as another attempt to censor dissent.
Since the PPP regime was installed into Government on 2nd August, 2020, Mr. Burke has been on the forefront as a vanguard for democracy and justice, challenging their legitimacy and exposing their racist, totalitarian and evil deeds and this move must be seen for what it is; an attempt to silence him.
We condemn this vindictiveness by the Irfaan Ali regime led by Bharat Jagdeo.
The Guyana Police Force should never be used as a weapon against our people and as a tool for suppressing our rights and freedoms which are entrenched in our Constitution.
We are all too familiar with the PPP’s history of using state resources to reign terror on those who challenge their undemocratic and autocratic rule. The PPP’s weaponizing of
the state apparatus must not be condoned.
All Guyanese must stand against this blatant attempt to degrade and strip citizens of their constitutional freedoms. We cannot allow our country to continue its slow march towards dictatorship. We must stand firm.
The APNU+AFC Opposition calls on all right thinking Guyanese, both home and abroad, to condemn this vindictive and spiteful act.
The APNU+AFC promises to fight against this dictatorship and at the parliamentary level, will be addressing these egregious attempts to use the GPF to stifle freedoms of