Jul 19, 2011 News
In what can be considered an about face, the Ministry of Home of Affairs has supported a recent decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to uphold the refusal on appeal, by a former member of the Guyana Defence Force, to be recognised as a refugee under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or as a person in need of protection.
The former GDF member, a coastguardsman, had applied for refugee status in Canada on the basis that the Government of Guyana had failed to provide adequate protection to him.
However this was not accepted by the Immigration and Refugee Board as the Board found that the applicant had not taken adequate steps to employ the resources of the Coastguard of Guyana or the Guyana Police Force.
The applicant had alleged that while working as a repair technician on a Coastguard vessel on September 19, 2008, the vessel intercepted another vessel which was found with large amounts of cocaine.
As a result of this bust, the applicant averred that he was harassed and threatened by persons who were responsible for shipping the cocaine.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement issued yesterday, it was because of the diligent efforts of the Coastguard that such a large haul of cocaine was confiscated and the persons responsible arrested by the Guyana Police Force.
This, the ministry said, correctly implies, as the Refugee Board of Canada did, that the law enforcement authorities of Guyana are an efficient arm of the Government and are not impaired from carrying out their assigned tasks.
“Therefore, they would have been capable of offering any necessary protection in this matter should such a need have arisen.”
The Ministry said that it was clearly noted that the former Coastguardsman did not provide any substantial evidence to show that the Government of Guyana had failed in its duties since his actions were premature and he did not allow the established institutions and mechanisms any chance to prove themselves.
According to the Home Affairs Ministry, the failure to actively engage the Coastguard and the Guyana Police Force is patently obvious, since the former Coastguardsman was remiss in following up with the relevant law enforcement authorities in order to seek a resolution in this matter thus preventing a thorough investigation as desired.
“While the capabilities of law enforcement authorities are not ideal, the Government of Guyana continues to make strides in this arena in order to effectively combat crime and to protect its citizens from the scourge of crime thus supporting the conclusion of the Immigration and Refugee Board that ‘Guyana is in effective control of its territory and has in place a functioning security force to uphold the laws and constitution of the country’,” the Ministry’s statement said.
But it was the same home affairs ministry that had earlier this year condemned the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for its decision to grant asylum to an information technology specialist and his wife.
The couple had alleged that they were targeted by senior Government officials, including a Minister and a top police official after the husband had refused to hack into the e-mail and websites of opposition figures on the instruction of the Government Minister.
The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board had accepted evidence as credible that the Minister while allegedly in the presence of a senior Guyanese police official and a notorious hit-man, lured the IT specialist to hack into guyanaobservernews.com and propagandapress.com, websites that the Minister reportedly described as “opposition websites” that were embarrassing Guyana’s ethnocratic PPP regime.
When this was accomplished, the Minister again directed the IT expert to break into named media personnel and opposition politicians’ websites and e-mails, and allegedly offered him half a million dollars to do so.
The computer expert refused and returned the money, insisting that such an act would be a criminal violation of the law, prompting the Minister to angrily assure him that he will be protected by the government, as it would be a patriotic duty.
But again the IT Specialist adamantly refused.
This led to several abusive telephone calls and evil, deadly threats from the Minister himself, according to evidence supplied. The wife of the IT specialist was kidnapped and taken to a City dining and entertainment facility, in which the Minister allegedly has a financial interest. There she was stripped, tied up, threatened with rape and beaten, allegedly in the presence of the Minister and the hit man.
This incident led to the couple escaping Guyana for Canada, where they were granted political asylum from persecution and threatened execution by the Minister and PPP government death squad members.
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