Jan 14, 2022 News
– allegedly called GECOM IT manager ‘Jagabat, Trench Crappo’
Kaieteur News – Opposition, Member of Parliament, Sherod Duncan was on Thursday arrested and later released on $100,000 station bail on allegations that he referred to the IT Manager of the Guyana Elections Commission as a ‘Jagabat and Trench Crappo.’
In a statement police said Duncan was arrested for allegedly making the derogatory remarks against Aneal Giddings during his ‘In the Ring’ Talk Show. In confirming the arrest, the Guyana Police Force said Duncan was arrested at around 11:00hrs on Thursday to assist in an ongoing investigation in relation to a cybercrime offence.
According to the police, at around 11:30hrs on Wednesday (January 12), Giddings, a 36-year-old resident of Diamond, East Bank Demerara, filed a complaint against Duncan, in which it was alleged that the Opposition MP made a number of derogatory statements against him on January 11 during his show, ‘In the Ring.’
Duncan is alleged to have referred to Giddings as a ‘jagabat’ and a ‘trench crappo’ amongst other disrespectful names, which are said to have caused significant emotional stress and humiliation. According to the police, the video was identified and downloaded from the Facebook page under the name ‘Sherod Avery Duncan’ by Inspector Blair. A statement was taken from Giddings. The investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, following the arrest of Duncan the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has denounced what it described as the unwarranted and unlawful deprivation of the rights and freedom of Member of Parliament, Sherod Duncan.
Duncan was summoned by the police to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Thursday morning for questioning in connection with a cybercrime probe. “The Party is calling for an immediate end to this season of politically inspired harassment by the PPP. We will not allow this type of harassment of former public servants or any citizen by agents of the state to stand. This must stop. We are calling on all Guyanese to join us in strongly condemning this abuse of state power and the persecution of innocent citizens,” the PNCR said in a release.
The PNCR said it stands firmly with Mr. Sherod Duncan and will do everything to ensure that his rights, especially his freedom of expression to be no longer violated. “The Party demands an immediate investigation into what is clearly a planned, coordinated and orchestrated political attack.”
For his part, Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon said the arrest of Duncan is yet another episode of the PPP’s bid to silence its critics. “I have said many times in the past and even after the arrest of former Finance Minister Mr. Jordan and the publishing of a wanted bulletin for Mr. Rickford Burke that the PPP is blatant in their attempt to silence those who expose and challenge them. It shows clearly that we are being governed by a dictatorship, which refuses to allow others to criticize its poor attempt at governance, mismanagement and double standard when it comes to addressing issues,” Harmon said in a statement. He said the facts emanating from an official police release on the issue in question reeks of political mischief. “It brings into question a known character that is infamous for his alleged malpractices at GECOM. The juvenile statements of concern reported by the GECOM Information Technology Manager comes as a distraction to the eroding structures currently existing at GECOM.”
“We have noted the selective use of the Cybercrime Act to conveniently target members of the Opposition in an effort to muzzle us but rest assured, we shall not be moved.
The APNUAFC stands committed to transparency and accountability and is firmly behind the Hon. Sherod Duncan, M.P. in his continued journey to apprise his viewership, by extension the people of Guyana and the international community on the rampant corrupt practices of the PPP administration and the conduct of all public
officers. The APNU+AFC coalition is calling on the Guyana Police Force to rid itself of political interference and conduct itself in a professional manner in keeping with its mandate to serve and protect the people of Guyana.”
Adding its voice, Alliance For Change also condemned what it describes as the political witch hunt and political persecution of vocal critics of the PPP regime and specifically the arrest of Duncan. “Tyranny, authoritarianism, weaponised police force turned against the people and the destruction of a major tenet of democracy (free speech), all of which Hon. Duncan opposes, have now been mobilized against him. The Alliance For Change vehemently condemns the unjust arrest of Hon. Duncan and calls on other civic bodies to do the same.”
The AFC said: “This installed regime, and anyone holding public office is neither infallible nor above critique, and ought not to attempt to silence those who would speak out against their mismanagement. The AFC demands the immediate release of Hon. Sherod Duncan M.P and the dropping of all trumped up charges against him. The AFC further calls upon the international diplomatic community to condemn this heinous act of oppression against freedom of speech that must be held sacred in our democracy.”
The Youths For Change- the youth arm of the AFC also “strongly condemns the arrest of Hon. Sherod Duncan MP on frivolous and unjustifiable grounds, at a time when murderers, rapists, abusers and robbers are walking free and the citizens of Guyana are still waiting for justice for those serious crimes.”
The YFC said the arrest of Duncan is a clear violation of his right to freedom of speech. “This politically motivated arrest further portrays the Guyana Police Force in the most negative light and adds to the rapidly declining public trust in the Police Force to guard itself against political directives. The arrest of Mr. Duncan is a glaring manifestation of the dictatorial rule that the current administration is engaged in. The YFC calls for the immediate release of Duncan and for an end to the arbitrary arrest of members of the opposition for calling out the government’s dictatorship and reign of terror on the Guyanese people and for calling out public office holders for acts of mismanagement and corruption.
The YFC stands with Hon. Sherod Duncan M.P and is committed to the fight to protect our most fundamental right of free speech. We see this as a direct attempt to muzzle any voice of dissent against the regime. This arrest can only be viewed as an act of tyranny,” the statement concluded.
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