Harmon condemns arrest of talk show host

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….accuses gov’t of using Police Force as a political weapon 

Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon has condemned the arrest of online talk show host, Gavin Matthews for allegedly causing emotional distress and humiliation to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr.

Matthews was arrested Thursday morning at the Square of the Revolution and taken to the Brickdam Police Station. He was subsequently released on $100,000 bail pending the completion of the investigation.

In a statement hours after Matthews’ arrest, Harmon, speaking on behalf of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), said this latest act highlights the absolute and authoritarian nature of the PPP/C regime.
“The PPP regime continues to wantonly use the Guyana Police Force as a political weapon to target and persecute citizens who challenge their thin-skinned leaders,” the Opposition Leader said.

He posited that by arresting Matthews, the PPP/C regime is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate any criticism or held accountable and those who attempt to do so will be targeted and severely punished.

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Harmon submitted that the arrest of Matthews is an attack on all Guyanese. “This is a clear case of political persecution and abuse and misuse of the Cyber Crime law. No citizen is now safe except those in the inner sanctum of the PPP regime. The APNU+AFC calls on all right thinking citizens to condemn, without condition, this vulgar, brazen and corrupt mis-application of the law. This is another violent assault on democracy in Guyana,” the Opposition Leader said.

Harmon noted that the PPP/C has a “sordid” history of harassing and prosecuting citizens who publicly criticize their members.
“Harassment and prosecution of citizens who exercise their right to free speech cannot be done in the name of the breaching the Cyber Crime Law. If so, it appears that the regime is selectively applying the law, because those who are part of the regime are spared when they commit similar acts,” he said while calling on the Guyana Police Force to act professionally at all times.

According to the police, Matthews allegedly used a computer system on March 25, 2021 to publish a derogatory video on Facebook intended to humiliate and embarrass or cause emotional distress to Minister Ramson. However, details of the alleged offence have not been made public.



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