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…after news of Clairmont Mingo’s release
By Clifford Stanley
Protestors in West Berbice cleared the road at Belladrum of debris and other blockages earlier today on receiving news that Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo had been released from custody on bail following his arraignment on four charges of alleged misconduct in public office.
At Belladrum, one protestor stated: “The protest was aimed at getting them to free Mingo from custody and once he was released the barriers were removed.”
Mingo was on Monday morning granted a total of $600,000 bail on four counts of alleged misconduct in public office. Attorney-at-law for Mingo Mr. Darren Wade said his client has to return to court on September 25 for further hearing of the four charges. Mingo was arrested by police last week Tuesday and held for seven days until Monday’s court appearance. At his home village at Paradise shortly after being released Mingo was given a hero’s welcome by his fellow villagers. Meanwhile Colin Reynolds also of Paradise who was shot by the Police while on the roadway around 04:00hrs today was sent home after receiving emergency medical treatment at the Fort Wellington Hospital. A relative told Village Voice that the injuries inflicted by shot gun pellets were not considered life threatening.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) had said that the protest was unlawful. “These protests have been taking place against the detention of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Returning Officer for Region 4 Mr. Clairmont Mingo as part of ongoing investigations into electoral fraud following the elections on March. The Guyana Police Force categorically states that these protests are not only illegal, but they also represent a threat to public safety due to the riotous behaviour of those involved in the illegal protests,” the force said in a statement.
The police said such behaviour can only cause harm to the well being of innocent citizens. Additionally, the police said the protest constitutes a denial of the rights and freedoms of tens of thousands of citizens who need to use the public roadway in the exercise of their constitutional freedom of movement. “Moreover, the gathering of protestors and the miles-long build-up of traffic on both sides of the road at Belladrum are a clear violation of the Covid-19 guidelines which are currently in place as part of Government’s efforts to mitigate the effects and spread of the global pandemic in Guyana, thereby endangering the lives of tens of thousands of Guyanese. “