Oct 09, 2012 News
The political opposition has warned Government of an organised protest if within the next 48 hours Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee is not removed from office. The political parties say that it is clear that Rohee is unfit for the portfolio.
They pointed to the escalation of killings by police ranks and to unsolved crimes.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership of National Unity (APNU) say that calls were also made for mass demonstrations for what is being deemed as a national crisis in the wake of recent killings.
Gathered in protest yesterday at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Eve Leary were Leader of APNU David Granger, APNU Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon, APNU Member of Parliament Basil Williams, Chairman of the AFC Nigel Hughes, social activist Mark Benschop and over a dozen mothers who held placards, chanting “Rohee must go!”
The protest is a result of the killing of 21-year old Dameon Belgrave last Friday outside of White Castle Fish Shop, Hadfield Street.
Some of the placards bearing the photo of Minister of Home Affairs Clement with an “X” over it read: “PPP/C how many more must die?”; “PNC/R demands justice”; “Stop killing our sons”; “Today Shaquille, tomorrow Dameon; who’s next?”; and “No more police killings.”
There was also a mini coffin in front of the agency bearing the writing “How many more, Rohee?”
Chairman of the AFC, Nigel Hughes, said that if the President and Commissioner of Police cannot guarantee the rule of law, then the country is in a dangerous state. “There can be no peace without justice.”
Underscoring that the issue is not a political one, Hughes said the entire society must take note and come out and support the protest, until the government understands the seriousness of the issue.
“This is not a political crisis, this is a national crisis in so far as citizens in the country are going to be executed by the police. We either decide as a country to have the rule of law or people who perceive themselves to be under threat from the state…We have been down that road before and we do not want to go down that road again.
“We know how precarious this was in the past; we had the crime wave and a lot of things might have triggered that; might well have been because of people feeling that they had no recourse to law,” Chairman of the AFC Nigel Hughes explained.
He said that the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), and socials organisations must speak out. “You can’t be having a social drink in a public place abiding by the law and end up dead, that is not acceptable and it is not a political issue.”
He said that if no other organisations take the mantle to lead a protest and speak out against the situation, then the opposition parties must play their role. “The confidence in the police force is at an all time low.”
APNU Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon said that the event of the mass protest will be a national effort and not just about political parties. The brutal killing must be condemned.
He said the protest organised by the APNU and AFC will be carried today (October 9, 2012) to the Office of the President with a larger crowd.
“We do not acknowledge Mr. Rohee as the Minister of Home Affairs. I am saying to Mr Brumell that if he does not take stock of himself, he is to prepare his retirement plans so that we can have proper arrangements within the police force so there is a proper police structure. If Mr. Brumell decides to stay silent of these issues then Mr. Brumell will also have to go,” Harmon warns.
Leader of APNU, Brig. David Granger said that there is a need for a new Minister of Home Affairs because for six years the Minister has not been allowed to control murders and extra-judicial killings.
“In order to achieve a safer society, the Minister needs to be replaced. The way the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police force are being administered leaves a lot to be desired.”
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