The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has raised concerns over recent comments allegedly made by the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, regarding the First Lady. In a video recording of a public meeting, Norton allegedly made remarks that the ERC deemed “unnecessary, demeaning, provoking, and not in line with the esteemed Office of the Opposition leader”.
The commission, emphasizing the importance of promoting peace and harmony, called on Norton in a letter to maintain an atmosphere of respect and responsible behaviour during public discourses.
The ERC, which was reconstituted on March 21, 2023, said it has been actively addressing various complaints brought to its attention. Two recent complaints were forwarded to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for further investigation, as they potentially violated the country’s cybercrime laws.
One of the flagged incidents involved a post made by Albert Morgan during a Facebook live broadcast hosted by Dr David Hinds, titled “Politics 101.” After reviewing the post, the commission deemed it to be a serious threat to life and sought the assistance of the GPF for further investigation.
Following Morgan’s arrest, the ERC issued two statements expressing its concerns and firmly stating that the post violated Guyana’s laws, including the Cybercrime Act. Furthermore, Dr Hinds was requested to appear before the commission to address his failure to condemn or distance himself from the post.
The ERC also investigated a Live Facebook broadcast supposedly from the profile of Norman Browne. Upon reviewing the content, the commission found it to be racially divisive and containing life-threatening elements, as well as violating Guyana’s laws, including the Cybercrime Act. The commission sought the assistance of the GPF to investigate the video, which was believed to have been broadcast on the evening of Monday, June 12, 2023.
Additionally, the commission is currently addressing two complaints regarding comments attributed to Tacuma Ogunseye, a member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), during a public meeting held in March 2023 in Buxton, East Coast Demerara. The matter is currently under investigation by the Guyana Police Force.
While some complainants from 2022 have chosen not to pursue their respective matters, the ERC is actively reviewing several other complaints, and appropriate action will be taken accordingly. The Commission reminds the public that complaints can be submitted through their website, www.erc.org.gy, via email at ethnic.r[email protected], or through in-person visits to their office.