Guyana Opposition Urged to Reject Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry Into Police Killings in Linden

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

President Donald Ramotar

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) fully supports the AFC’s complete and unequivocal rejection of the PPP’s second proposed term of reference for the commission of inquiry into the Police killings of the three Lindeners.

This additional term proposes to inquire “into the role and involvement” of  “other forces” in organising, mobilising and promoting the protest actions from their commencement and immediately after the shooting on July 18th 2012.”

This is a back-door attempt by the PPP regime to investigate organizers of the protests, who broke no law and committed no crime. The only crimes committed were the murder and unlawful shooting of unarmed, innocent citizens by Police officers.

This term is unacceptable is even more acceptable as it contemplates the criminalization of legitimate protest and opposition dissent. Organizing, promoting and mobilizing citizens for a protest is not unlawful or criminal. No government has the power to investigate the exercise of a constitutional right.

The PPP’s only intend in investigating citizens exercising their constitutional right peaceful assembly and free speech is to further its malicious aggression against the Afro-Guyanese citizens of Linden.

The inquiry must be into the unjustifiable shooting to death – murder,  of the three citizens; the unjustifiable wounding of two dozens others and who issued the orders to shoot, and that only.

The callousness of the PPP knows no bounds. In any democratic society, complicity with the kind of atrocities such as those committed against the people of Linden, of which the PPP government is guilty, would require a relinquishment of government.  These crimes have brought down governments in Egypt, Libya and other countries.  Guyana should be no different.

The people of Guyana are also entitled to democracy, human rights and freedoms.
If President Donald Ramotar and the PPP continue to insist of these extremists tactics, then the Parliament should pass a no confidence motion in the entire government and force new elections!

We therefore urge the APNU and the people of Linden to reject this PPP ruse to extricate the murderers.

0 thoughts on “Guyana Opposition Urged to Reject Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry Into Police Killings in Linden


  1. “These crimes have brought down governments in Egypt, Libya and other countries. Guyana should be no different.”
    If the APNU has the interest of the country at heart, they should accept thhe will of the electorate and as an opposition try until the next elections to perform in such a manner to gain the confidence of the electorate to the extent that they would be given the opportunity to form the government. surreptiously fomenting dissent to government decisions which can result in situations of which they now complain can only do the country more harm than good. until then, guyana was expperiencing an unprecedented form of stability not seen for a long time and is slowly but surely emerging from its mendicant state. the APNU needs to be careful how they play their cards and the Government too needs to display some commonsense in dealing with volatile situations.


  2. If the APNU has the country at heart you say balance?……so this racist PPP Government has Guyana at heart?Or is it that they have ‘their people’ the indian guyanese at heart.

    To understand what is going on in Guyana,I read people like Lincoln Lewis who has posted here outlining clearly how much this ppp government doesn’t have the entire country at heart ;I read Freddie Kissoon,I read Mark Benschop,Rickford Burke….Not people like ricky singh or people who come on here to push the guyanese government propoganda.

    We should be sending our support to the Opposition parties in Guyana for the strong stand they are taking on these killing of unarmed,innocent citizens.


  3. Mr Mashup, i hold no brief for Mr Singh but it is strange that you seem to dismiss his views because in your view he as an Indian is racist but Mr Lewis is black and his views are sacrosant. I guess Mr Sam Hinds, the longstanding black Prime Minister would be described as an uncle sam as i suppose all the other persons of African descent who vote PPP; and what about the now esteemed SIr Shridath Ramphal, Foreign Minister during the reign of terror by Mr Burnham.I suppose he would be excused as a good Indian by the likes of the Lewises and Burkes anda traitor to the cause of suppressing black people by those of Indian ethnicity. Mr Lewis is a failure who has used the Trade Union movement for his own ends. He needs to do his serious introspection as to whether except for personal aggrandisment he has been able to use his exalted positions for the benefit of Guyana and the Guyanese people. This anachronistic desire by the Lewises and the Burkes to fan the flames of racism clandestinely or otherwise could only serve to do the country and their cause more harm than good. Wait your turn, the electorate is more perceptive than you think as the last election showed.


  4. @BALANCE
    Maybe you should read the Kaiteur News and the concerns expressed daily by Glan Lall and Freddie Kissoon.The facts are there for all to see.The PPP is a racist cabal evidenced by the large number of indo guyanese ministers and the large number of indo guyanese ambassadors in foreign countries.Guyana is on the verge of another ’60’s revolution.


    • Perhaps others in the know can explain former President of the Caribbean Development Bank’s role as head of the University of Guyana. Especially as it relates to Freedie Kissoon and not renewing his contract.


  5. As conliffeo said, good luck to them; what facts as long as there are different races and ethnicities upon the face of this earth , racism and classism wold always rear its ugly head and those are part and parcel of the challenges of life; but i have seen progress in guyana over the years and rather than fomenting unnecessary conflict which can only serve to put them back, build on the positives. For the opposition to have made such significant gains in the last election into what is a country of predominantly indian ethnicity indicates that they would have had to had significant levels of support from the Indian community.This suggests to me that the race card agenda by the opposition is a means to an end and it is dangerous. Guyana has come a long way since the turbulent days of Mr Burnham and Guyanese of all races need to recognise this and stop faning the flames of fire. Ask Mr Lewis what as a leader he has done for his country as compared to what he has gained from it.


  6. well David, there is progress for you. As i said, things are looking up for the opposition. they just need to be patient and play their cards right in such an insensitive environment.


    • The Guyana situation is very difficult to assess or apportion blame. In countries which boast of stable governance tension exist; imagine Guyana with its turbulent history. It is good to see David Commissiong has joined the noise on the outside which serves to create needed tension in Caribbean media. Sometimes it seems that Brother Kisson and a few others have been left to do it alone.


  7. @ Gabriel Tackle | August 11, 2012 at 7:04 AM |
    “Guyana is on the verge of another ’60′s revolution.”

    And this time around the blacks would be at the losing end of any racial violent conflict.
    Blacks have allowed themselves to become the minority relative to that ethnic group from the Indian sub-continent.
    Through their refusal to breed and reproduce at a demographically sustainable rate to keep the racial balance in their favour they have allowed their reliance on the Indian man shop to extract the little financial resources they have acquired through the fast disappearing employment opportunities with the State agencies.
    Unless they show a marked turnaround on relying on the Indian man for food and other things they would continue to be economically disenfranchised and with a decreasing population size they are destined for social marginalization and political disempowerment.
    The black Guyanese should consider emigrating to Barbados and Jamaica but especially Barbados from where most of their ancestors initially came. The DLP would be doing a major disservice to the black race if it was to continue with this unjustified rejection of black Guyanese from our shores while allowing those from Indian and Pakistan to come as they wish through marriages of convenience and bribery of immigration and political officials.


  8. Balance

    I see you conveneintly omitted an indo guyanese who I place highly as a credible source,and that is Freddie Kissoon.

    That to me speaks volumes about you and what value to place on your propoganda.

    Secondly,the indians did not vote for the mainly african opposition party ,that is the PNC – now merged into the APNU.A large number of the indian voters did not go out to vote because of what Jagdeo did to them in the Sugar Industry;and those indians who voted – did so because of and for Moses Nagamotoo who is a founding member of the cheddi Jagan PPP party – but resigned because of the corrupt practices of Jagdeo and joined forces with Khemraj ramjattan of the AFC opposition party.

    Some indo guyanese also supported – the AFC – because of its leader Khemraj Ramjattan.

    If you go through the archives of the columns done by Freddie Kissoon,you will see that racial voting still went on and the indians did not support the afro-led APNU/PNC.

    So Balance is lying through his teeth,another Ricky singh type Jagdeo Propogandist on this blog.Sent to do his job I’m sure.


  9. It is necessary to note that dome groups use reproduction to gain an advantage in our flawed majoritarian democracy. That is why, despite its eugenic implications, by law any family with more than two children should not have access to public funds, from healthcare to education.
    As I have said before, since the early 1970s, some of us have seen vast areas of Britain transformed unrecognisably on the mistaken notion of multi-culturalism. .
    The misguided Caricom free movement of workers legislation which has fed in to this should be suspended until Caricom becomes a more effective organisation.
    On the one hand, Guyana is exporting its racialised politics to the rest of the Caribbean and in Barbados, a country that has never had this experience of roti politics, is now in the front line.
    On the other we have people using money to re-colonise the West Coast turning us in to strangers in our own land.
    If we do not defend out integrity now, we would have betrayed future generations.
    We need a national debate on nationality, citizenship, right of residence, property ownership and the concept of domicile for taxation purposes.
    Should non-Barbadians have a right to the ownership of freehold property? Should it be a legal requirement for members of parliament to be born in Barbados? Should our prime ministers, chief justices, governor generals, and other senior public officers be Barbadian by birth? Or does it not matter?
    Just keep an eye on the build up of membership of political parties at constituency level.
    We have seen all this in Britain. Some groups play a long game. I always remember some years ago, at Christmas time, staying at a Guyanese owned guest house in Dayrells Road and hearing a group of Guyanese talking about Barbadians with total contempt.
    For some reason, they obviously believed that because I live in Britain I was no longer a Barbadian and they were free to talk.
    You have been warned.


  10. millertheanunnaki “The DLP would be doing a major disservice to the black race if it was to continue with this unjustified rejection of black Guyanese from our shores while allowing those from Indian and Pakistan to come as they wish through marriages of convenience and bribery of immigration and political officials.”
    Interesting.

    David | August 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM |

    @miller

    A serious statement you have made!

    The Barbados government allowing Indoguyanese into Barbados while black BAJAN/Guyanese are being treated like crap in Guyana?

    Surprised?


  11. David,
    There is nothing xenophobic about this. It is called facing reality. Let us jut look at the demographics. It is estimated that the world population would ground from about seven billion to just over nine billion by 2050, a growth of about a third.
    The traditional Barbadian reproductive rate is about 2.1, which is just about what is needed to stabilise our population. If population growth in Barbados follows the rest of the world, with a population of about 300000 at present, that would see an additional 100000 by 2050.
    Over and above the over-crowding, if that growth comes from people of different ethnic, religious and cultural traditions, it follows that, through the democratic process, the nature of our society would change.
    There is nothing wrong with this as it stands, but Barbadians must know what they are letting themselves in for.
    That is why I am calling for a national debate. This is what democracy is all about.
    We have seen how the West Coast has been taken away from us, not this time by colour or imperialism, but through the use of money.
    The irony of this is that ordinary Barbadian taxpayers, who often cannot afford to pay their bills, are pouring millions through tax subsidies to these foreign land grabbers.
    In an election year, let the politicians give the people answers.


  12. David | August 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM |
    @miller: A serious statement you have made!

    Serious indeed! An examination of the immigration records would confirm that most immigrants from Pakistan are given permanent resident status based on marriage to a resident or citizen of the same ethnic and religious background. Not because they are bringing foreign investment capital or some much needed professional or technical skills. Women of the Islamic religion and whose ethnic origins are of the Indian sub-continent are forced through the threat of honour killing to marry a male from Pakistan or India or some other community in their diaspora. The local males are also expected to import wives from similar sources. This is a planned and indeed wise strategy to ensure that the culture is not adulterated or diluted, there is no local miscegenation to cause inter-racial marriages or interbreeding and the community expand in numbers since family planning according Western standards through use of contraceptives is not allowed.
    Hal Austin can back this up as witnessed in cities and towns across the UK.

    The local black hand-to-mouth bureaucrats and politicians are on the take and easily bribed to sort out the paper work. After all, they have a certain standard of material living to maintain and a SUV and big house in the heights and terraces with children to educate overseas can’t be achieved on a civil servant or politician official income according to Blackette’s payroll calculations and listing of representational costs and benefits.


  13. “I always remember some years ago, at Christmas time, staying at a Guyanese owned guest house in Dayrells Road and hearing a group of Guyanese talking about Barbadians with total contempt”
    Were these of whom you speak Afro-Guyanese or Indo-Guyanese? and for your informationthe entire Caribbean speak of Barbadians with contempt.


  14. This is an important point. We have to respect other people’s cultures, but, for example, while respecting arranged marriages, that does not mean that the would-be partner has to import the other person from outside the region.
    The principle of arranged marriages has nothing to do with immigration. While people are allowed to have arranged marriages, the choice of partner would have to be Barbadian or from a Caricom nation and with a right of residence in Barbados.
    On the point of honour killings. I remember some time ago a young Muslim girl, the daughter of an Iman, went missing in Barbados and the interview the father gave to the Nation was highly abusive and, frankly, racist.
    I thought at the time he should have been deported, but wrote that it was a sign of the times.
    The principle is simple: we welcome people from the far corners of the world, but the law of Barbados rules supreme.
    About corrupt politicians. Just look at the people funding their constituency parties if you want to know how corrupt they are.


  15. Mash up, including Kissoon if he is of Indian descent would only strengthen my view that the gains made by the opposition would have had to be as a result of support from Indo-Guyanese and what’s the beef about racial voting, it is nothing new. It would be interesting to hear how you would vote.. If you had a choice to vote for the best candidate or your black brother or the indo candidate, for whom would you vote? and by the way, it takes a liar to know a liar.


  16. Like cBermuda, marriage to a citizen of Barbados should not confer the immediate right of citizenship to a spouse.There should be a wating period of at least ten years. From a humane point of view, such spouses should be accorded the right to work and residenc in the meantime..


    • Two points to note, BLP politicians namely Mascoll has been agitating for a growth in population. Miller if the BLP regains office what do you think will be the policy as far as border patrol and managing population growth/mix?

      The other point is that the ethnic groups in Barbados have historically located in the distributive trade, a forex drain.


    • RACIAL DISCRIMINATION!
      Score: AFRICAN AMBASSADORS-1
      EAST INDIAN AMBASSADORS-43
      ( Guyana Population: 36% African, East Indian=42%)
      The single black ‘fly in the ppp honey’ is a Black woman, Elizabeth Harper who is in quarantine in Guyana. Confined at home as Ambassador to the Caribbean-CARICOM which is Head Quartered in Guyana…
      see two bery interesting articles:
      Article 1
      Article 2


  17. David/BU

    Did you read Kaeiteur Newspaper today and see that more citizens of Linden and Wismar got shot,although the police and government are saying the police used pellets.

    It seems that provocateurs allegedly paid by the government are being sent into Linden to stir up trouble burning down schools and buildings.

    Why is the Nation and Advocate giving full page columns to ronald saunders formerly ronald singh and son-in-law of shridath ramphal and Rickey singh to write crap and yet not be asked to speak on the atrocities going on in Guyana.

    I am very worried for those poor afro guyanese people in Linden and even the whole of Guyana.

    Even Freddie Kissoon is begging the people of Guyana to protest against the harrasment against him by the government.


  18. @David
    Two very interesting articles.Speaking of the Foreign Service,recall that EWB had the foresight to appoint the Guyanese Luckoo(Sir Lionel?)to be the UK High Commissioner for Barbados and later the last UK High Commissioner (or Ambassador?) appointed by Forbes Burnham was a Guyanese of Bajan descent Cecil Pilgrim who retired to Barbados since the PPP threw him off the diplomatic ship in ’92.
    We have the English to blame for the myriad problems we face in these English speaking Caribbean countries.They never thought out the end result of their misguided policies, in the pursuit of misappropriated wealth.


  19. @Mash Up
    I support your views here fully.I never read the crap that is written by saunders, a knight of the same firmament as stanford.Is it not strange how all these guys flock to Antigua with the birds who fly there!I prefer the objective contributions of Glen Lall and Freddie Kissoon,two indo guyanese who are about fair play in Guyana,which is the Guyana I knew and spent many a day in the company of some of the friendliest people in this part of the world.


  20. Gabriel Tackle

    Like you I choose not to read Saunders and Ricky Singh. They are always ready to criticise Barbados but wouldn’t leave Barbados and go back to Guyana.

    I just love the sense of fairness that oozes out of Freddie Kissoon.He calls it as it is,and now the PPP government,first with Basdeo Jagdeo and now Donald Ramoutar are giving that poor man hell.Yet Ricky singh that yellow boxy brassbowl supporting that racist PPP government and writes every Sunday in the Government rag called the Guyana Chronicle in support of their action.

    I regret the day Barrow felt sorry for him and let him back in after Tom Adams chased him away from here.

    Big Steupes.


  21. @Mash up
    As far as I am aware he is alive and well, living off the good fortune of his fellow indo trinidadians where he now resides.He has to live with the fact that 2 of his sons were found guilty in a Barbados court for a large quantity of dope and a fellow guyanese facilitated a hearing in the lower court and they were given a slap on the hand with a fine of $150,000.00 so his cupboard is possessed of skeletons!


  22. A lttle long but is worth recording:

    Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
    Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:46
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    freddie_kissoonPolitical activist, Freddie Kissoon was late Wednesday night assaulted by a man shortly before entering his vehicle outside Parliament Building.
    Kissoon said he had just finished participating in a Red Thread-organised vigil against police shootings and killings in Linden and was about to leave the area.,
    “This man just came up to me and started swinging. I got a few cuffs to my head and I fell. He was just there waiting on me. There was no attempt to rob me,” Kissoon told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
    The incident occurred just before midnight.
    Kissoon said when he raised an alarm and fellow activists Fitz Ralph and Michael Carrington recognized and sought to pursue the man, he fled and entered a black SUV.
    He was expected to file a complaint at the Brickdam Police Station.
    Kissoon was attacked in May 2010 when an unidentified man dumped a bucket of faeces on him just outside Nigel’s Supermarket.
    The newspaper columnist has been a consistent critic of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC).
    He earlier Wednesday night addressed a Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) public meeting in which he supported calls for Georgetown residents to block major thoroughfares in solidarity with Lindener
    IN DEFENCE OF F. KISSOON

    The open and daring attack on a peaceful opposition activist in Guyana – is outrageous and ALL descent Guyanese, in and out of Guyana, must openly condemn this sort of Individual terror-tactic of the PPP and elements of the PPP regime. It is clear to all that Mr. Freddie Kissoon has been a target of the PPP and its goon-squad for a long time.

    The PPP leadership – Donald Ramotar, Clement Rohee, Gail Texiera and Jagdeo (in the shades) – should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a simple protest in Linden to escalate into a major tension – that will far-reaching effects. The entire country now understands that Guyana will not be the same again after the recent “SHOOT TO KILL” operations in Linden.

    Dr. Jagan, one of the main founders of the PPP, with all his short-comings, would not have allowed any of this to happen. The tensions in Guyana will escalate into a major confrontation – at a national level, if the regime does not adhere to the DEMANDS of the people of Linden and resolve all the outstanding national issues.

    Cheddie Jagan would not have tolerated any form of violence against unarmed citizens and the Linden crisis would not have occurred – causing the killing of 3 citizens and severely injuring more than 20 persons to date.

    Gail Texiera – Chief “Spin Doctor” of the PPP and the PPP regime, is running out of lies and half truths. The nation is well-informed – since they do not listen to the State-mouth pieces – the Chronicle newspaper and the National Criminal Netwwork (NCN state TV), but have developed their own independent networks at the local and international levels.

    The discredited PPP leadership is standing on one leg – and is desperately clinging on to power. We must do everything to resist the escalation of this STATE terror and bring and end to this type of rule in Guyana – once and for all.

    JINNAH RAHMAN
    GUYANESE AND UK JOURNALIST
    COMMUNITY ACTIVIST
    PHONE: (0044) 07415 906 886
    I am pleading with my country to protect me
    August 12, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
    In a conversation with Lincoln Lewis, Aubrey Norton, Dr. David Hinds and Sharma Solomon, I made the point that after Walter Rodney, I may be the second most molested victim of state oppression in post-independent Guyana. Of course, Mark Benschop went to prison for five years.
    The targeting of me by state actors is relentless. I have requested that David Hinds arrange a meeting for me with the Opposition Leader. And I have asked Gerhard Ramsaroop to raise my situation with the AFC. I am hoping that other stakeholders like Red Thread, the Guyana Human Rights Association and the Private Sector Commission make a statement on what is happening to me and my family.
    In 2010, I was attacked in the night and a bucket of miasmic substance thrown on me. No one can be so barefacedly foolish to think that state actors were not the prime conspirators. I could have been seriously harmed if that substance was tainted with violent viruses. I took an AIDS test the next month. In 2011 just before the national elections, my wife was hounded out of her job at GOINVEST, a state company.
    She worked there for fourteen years. I wrote about this before and I accused then President, Mr, Jagdeo and Mr. Ramotar of involvement in what happened to her. I have the evidence. There was nothing secret about what they did to her. They didn’t hide their action. The Stabroek News has sought to interview me on exactly what transpired at GOINVEST. My response is that I will not do so until my wife gives me permission to go public. After all it is her story I will be talking about. I respect her views. She is a very private person that has no interest in politics.
    My wife lost her pension because of the CLICO collapse. This was the deliberate targeting of my wife. A certain blog associated with the ruling party posted very scurrilous things about my daughter two years ago. This year, my contract at UG was terminated on January 18, two weeks before resumption of classes. My contract had five months more. I lost out on a salary that I used in paying my mortgage.
    It is known all over Guyana because of the extensive coverage given by this newspaper that when the Ministry of Works cleared the long stretch of trench on the Railway Embankment, only the direct section outside my home was left with the bushes intact.
    I live in a gated community next to CARICOM. All the residents there have voiced the opinion that the Government refuses to repair the horrible road because I will benefit. Peter Ramsaroop moved in a few houses from me and in a conversation told me that he understands that the road is left like that because of me.
    Now, last Tuesday, I was informed by letter that I was cheating on my taxes because I have not declared what I get for my columns in the Kaieteur News. It must be remembered that I was ordered a year ago by the Guyana Revenue Authority to submit property taxes. The question that must be asked and needs to be asked is should I be afraid for my life. Is there another critic since Walter Rodney and the jailing of Mark Benschop that has been so singled out for political repression than me?
    In the oppression of a human rights activist, the society must take into consideration the traumas it brings to one’s family. My daughter saw her father assaulted in 2004 and my car stolen and found just near to Kaieteur News. My daughter saw her father attacked with a stink substance in 2010. She saw mother chased out of her job. The next year she saw her father lose his job. Now we have this tax pursuit. My wife of course, like her daughter, has to endure all of this, and all because of me she became a victim. Where is this going to end?
    How can this country stand by and allow this relentless persecution of me? Why is the state so obsessed with me? What am I doing that is more devastating to the state, the PPP and the Government than opposition politicians? Am I a superman that will single-handedly remove the PPP from power? And who says that I am engaged in activities to bring down the government. I am not. I am critic of the Government like so many others. I am a human rights activist like so many others.
    I write an analytical commentary that the Government frowns upon. But there are pro-government commentators all over Guyana and I don’t see the opposition targeting them and harassing them. There is the Peeping Tom in this newspaper. He/she writes in favour of the state. My concern is for my life. Could one day this relentless pursuit of me, end in my murder?
    It is something that logically I must reflect on. As the Sunday editorial of the Stabroek News asked; why couldn’t my contract be allowed to just run out its five months duration and then the Government was free not to renew it. Are we seeing an obsession with me? I will wait to see what the political parties and other stakeholders do over my cry here. In the meantime, I thank Aubrey Norton, Sharma Solomon, Dr. David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis for their promise of support. I end by asking my country to protect me.

  23. Pingback: Guyana: Linden Protests Intensify · Global Voices


    • The fearless warrior!

      Global press org. condemns harassment of Guyanese columnist PDF | Print |
      Written by Demerara Waves
      Friday, 17 August 2012 11:35
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      freddie_kissoonVIENNA, Aug 17, 2012 – A well-known Guyanese newspaper columnist and human-rights activist was assaulted late Wednesday night after speaking at a public vigil near the country’s parliament building in Georgetown, the latest incident in what he believes to be a government-sponsored campaign to silence him.
      Freddie Kissoon, who writes for the independent Kaieteur News, told the International Press Institute (IPI) that an unknown man “showered him with blows” as the journalist attempted to enter his vehicle. After fellow activists responded to Kissoon’s cries for help, the man fled in a black SUV that Kissoon said had been seen “circling” the vigil.
      Wednesday’s event was held in support of residents protesting against an increase in electricity rates in Linden, Guyana’s second-largest city, where three civilians were killed last month by government security forces. Kissoon has written critically of the official response to the incident, authoring a recent piece in which he echoed suggestions that the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was conspiring to exacerbate the country’s racial divisions. (Race is a constant theme in Guyanese politics, brought sharply back into focus by tension between the Indo-Guyanese supported PPP and the largely Afro-Guyanese population of Linden.)
      Kissoon, who abruptly lost his position as lecturer at the state-run University of Guyana earlier this year, told IPI he believed the mastermind of Wednesday’s attack was “someone high up in the government obsessed with his [Kissoon’s] politics”. In a column published just last Sunday, the journalist called himself “the second most molested victim of state oppression in post-independent Guyana” and wondered aloud whether an attempt on his life was imminent. He also wrote that his wife had recently been “hounded” out of her job at a government investment agency and that his daughter had been the victim of malicious blog postings.
      Bert Wilkinson, executive member of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) added that the threat of a government plot against Kissoon was “very real”. Wilkinson pointed to allegations that a disturbing 2010 incident in which a bucket of human waste was thrown in Kissoon’s face had been hatched inside the Guyanese president’s office.
      The government fiercely denied involvement in that attack, noting in a statement that despite what it viewed as “serious misrepresentations” and “distortions” in Kissoon’s columns, it “respect[ed] the rights of journalists to freely express their views and [stood] firm in defence of that right”, according to Stabroek News.
      Howver, Kissoon is also the defendant in an ongoing libel suit brought by former Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, who claimed Kissoon had insinuated that he and the PPP government were racist in one of his columns. Wilkinson told IPI that evidence released during the trial has further vexed the PPP, which lost its working parliamentary majority in last November’s elections. The case will resume in court on September 7; Kissoon says he is confident in the strength of his evidence.
      IPI Deputy Director Anthony Mills said: “We are very concerned about this week’s attack on Freddie Kissoon and we urge the Guyanese government to open an immediate investigation and to bring those responsible to justice. Furthermore, officials must ensure that what appears to be a campaign of harassment against Mr. Kissoon and his family is stopped. The right to engage in critical journalism is vital to any democracy and must be respected.”
      Mills added that IPI was also urging the loosening of restrictions on private media in the country, calling the government’s radio and television monopoly in the Linden area “a significant obstacle to the free flow of information”.
      For his part, Kissoon, who on Thursday was recovering from the attack, was determined to continue both his writing and his activism. While he contended that the government had overestimated the level of his influence, he nevertheless added pointedly: “I will continue to do what I’m doing … until I die.”

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