Latest update May 28th, 2023 12:06 AM
Jun 29, 2022 News
– says criminal elements must face full consequences of the law
Kaieteur News – Following the destruction of vehicles, market stalls, looting and violence on Tuesday during a protest for the shooting of 25-year old Quindon Bacchus, President Irfaan Ali assured that there will be justice for the family of the young man who was shot and killed by a rank of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). He said too that all who experienced losses as a result of the riot which occurred during the protest will be compensated.
The President gave this assurance to the residents and vendors of Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD) after the dust settled from violent attacks, looting and random setting of fire to several stalls at the market by a gang of criminally inclined individuals.
Men and women on motorcycles and bicycles were seen carting off sacks of potatoes and plantains, as well as toilet tissue and other items stolen from the vendors. Ali during a visit to Mon Repos, ECD told angry citizens that, “What was done is completely wrong. There is absolutely no excuse for it… all those who are responsible for this must be brought to justice. Not only those who did it, but those who instigated it…let me be very clear, if you are leading a protest you have a responsibility to keep that protest lawful…all those who are responsible for doing it must be brought to justice. They must face the full consequences of the law…”
He added, “…this nonsense has to stop. I have made it clear that all those who participated in the lawlessness – there are images, there are videos, they must be brought to justice. Everyone has a right in a democracy to let their voices be heard but no one has a right to loot, no one has a right to thief or to beat anyone…it is totally illegal, it is against the law and they must face the consequences of the law…”
While utilising the speakerphone attached to a Police Force van, he told the market vendors that they will be fully compensated. The crowd which had gathered to share their complaints with the President all cheered as he made his announcement.
In a subsequent statement, the President said that justice for Quindon Bacchus will be done, especially since the police officer that shot and killed the young man remains confined to the GPF Headquarters, under investigation.
Further, the Head of State shared, “Today, a man threatened my life. And the member of Parliament who filmed it did not denounce the statement. I have received an outpouring of love and support. Today, I will be holding my family and the extended Guyanese family tighter. When I took this job, I knew that it would be difficult. We had to struggle for our democracy and our votes to be counted. We had to struggle with a pandemic and with the rising cost of living. And, through it all, we are surely and steadily transforming Guyana.”
Ali noted that he will request Parliament to pass a unanimous resolution decrying political violence and threats of assassination.
The major political force, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) also issued a statement Tuesday denouncing the bold acts of crime and violence. The group said, “We join in condemning all acts of violence and criminality. Such acts only serve to undermine and distract from the legitimate aims of the protect action.”
It also called on members of the GPF to exercise restraint to avoid exacerbating the volatile situation. The Coalition party said, “Though these protests are linked directly to the police execution of Quindon Bacchus, the outpouring of persons on the streets is driven by the deep and persistent grievances many Guyanese feel in light of PPP discrimination and bad governance.”
Meanwhile, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) called out an online media entity ‘Guyana Daily News’ for allegedly sparking the public unrest, due to a misleading article indicating that the police officer that gunned down Bacchus was released from custody.
According to the GPA, “we do not consider an entity describing itself as Guyana Daily News as consistently meeting the basic standards expected of a professional news organisation. This is based on repeated instances in which its content has proven to be unreliable, unverified, and unethically intended to mislead media audiences.
The GPA therefore does not recognise this outfit to be a bonafide news organisation within the strict meaning of the term and with regard to basic journalistic obligations.”
The Media Association urged that the verification of news and information is a primary requirement of news gathering and dissemination.
Following the GPA’s statement, the news outlet in acknowledging its error said that its Editor in Chief, Mr. Ronald Singh, has been suspended with immediate effect. “The management and staff of Guyana Daily News have acknowledged the calls and have taken a step to ensure that the same mistake is not repeated in the future,” the entity said.
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