Apr 30, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Social media commentator, Gavin Matthews, was arrested yesterday for allegedly making and publishing a video containing derogatory remarks about Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson Jr.
Matthews was arrested during a picketing exercise held at the Square of the Revolution in Georgetown. The social media commentator, who was at the time of his arrest live streaming the protest via his Facebook page, was seen being approached by a group of armed policemen who put the allegation to him.
The arresting rank could be heard saying to Matthews, “It is alleged that on the 25th March, 2021 at Georgetown, you used a computer system to publish a video on Facebook that is derogatory with intent to humiliate and embarrass and to cause emotional distress to Charles Ramson Jr.”
To which, Matthews replied “I don’t know of such,” and the officer cautioned him.
The policeman said “Sir you’re not obliged to say anything; whatever you say will be put into writing and will be put into evidence and used against you in the court of law.” He then informed Matthews that he was there to arrest him and take him to the Brickdam Police Station.
The social media commentator could be heard asking the officers why he was being arrested on an allegation before saying that he will comply. He noted nonetheless, that he will continue to live stream, “just in case anything happens to me, this is the evidence.”
On the matter of the allegations, Matthews continued to deny any involvement with Ramson Jr.
“Charles Ramson Jr. and I are not friends. I don’t know him but as far as I’m aware he is a de facto Minister in the de facto government [but] they got to come good, better than that and this is part of shutting me up,” he said.
Matthews live streamed his arrest until he was at the Brickdam Police Station. Contacted last evening, Communications Director for the Guyana Police Force’s Corporate Communication Unit (CCU), Stan Gouveia noted that while Matthews had been arrested, he is not yet charged with any offence.
Gouveia noted Matthews has been questioned by the police in relation to an offence he allegedly committed under the Cyber Crime Act of Guyana and released on bail. He said that Matthews allegedly published a video to Facebook that is derogatory with intent to cause emotional distress to Ramson Jr.
Section 19 of the Cybercrime Act of 2018 states that using a computer system, to coerce, harass, intimidate or humiliate a person is an offence. The section outlines that a person commits an offence if the person uses a computer system to disseminate any information, a statement or image knowing same to be false to cause public ridicule, contempt, hatred or embarrassment.
Another section of the Act, specifically states that if a person uses this means to cause substantial emotional distress and injury to the business, occupation, employment or place of income, he is also liable of an offence.
In terms of penalty, the Act states that a summary conviction of the offence carries a fine $5M and three years imprisonment and a conviction on indictment carries a fine of $10M and five years imprisonment.
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