The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has admonished the State for bringing terrorism charges against “ordinary Guyanese,” noting that it is a motive to “intimidate and scare citizens” from exercising their constitutional freedoms of association and peaceful demonstration.
The political party’s statement comes on the heels of two fresh wanted bulletins issued by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for persons accused of acts of terrorism on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
The PNCR reminded that the anti-terrorism section in the Criminal Law (Offences) Law was introduced as an amendment in 2002 by the then Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj and “remains a wicked piece of legislation created by a man who masterminded Phantom squads and extra-judicial killings.”
“The PPP government is now maliciously using the anti-terrorism law to deal with alleged acts of larceny and hooliganism. The PPP’s motive is clear: to intimidate and scare citizens from exercising their constitutional freedoms of association and peaceful demonstration.”
The PNCR contends that such intimidation of citizens is state terrorism in itself. The proper course of action, the party noted, is for the Police Force to be depoliticised, professionalised, and well-equipped.
“The use of the so-called anti-terrorism legislation will only serve to undermine human rights and democracy. It is even likely to create more political instability in the country. The government must come to its senses and drop all such charges immediately,” the party added.
To this end, the PNCR said that while it does not condone criminal activity, it will continue to defend the human and constitutional rights of all Guyanese.
Only on Wednesday, the Police Force issued two wanted bulletins for Patrick Cummings and Robin Simon for acts of terrorism that occurred last year.
In fact, last week, nine men were slapped with terrorism charges and released on bail relating to the June 2022 unrest at the Mon Repos Market on the East Coast.