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…but complaints against Nandlall, Roshan Khan languish
Eight months after Opposition Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir filed a criminal complaint against Roshan Khan – a Guyanese businessman – for calling on Indo-Guyanese to “target” her, the Guyana Police Force is still to complete its investigation into matter.
“Indo-Guyanese need to picket Parliament and her home and everywhere she is or goes. We must target her with sleeplessness,” Khan said in a post on his Facebook page. He had even called on Indo-Guyanese to mark the Opposition MP. In early May, 2021 Walton-Desir filed a report at the Brickdam Police Station with the hope that Khan would be held accountable for statements she described as “irresponsible” but to date, it would appear that the investigation is still ongoing.
On Saturday, the Opposition MP said she is still awaiting the completion of the investigation. “I have queried but to no avail,” she told this newspaper. Walton-Desir’s case is no different from the one brought against the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall by Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe. In October, 2021 – some three months ago – Slowe filed a criminal complaint against the Attorney General for describing him as an “anarchists” and a “bad john” during his online programme ‘Issues in the News.’
Slowe, who also served as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, said the disparaging comments amounted to a violation of the Cybercrime Act. But even as these two cases languish within the system, ranks at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), within hours last week completed an investigation into allegations that Opposition Member of Parliament and Talk-Show Host, Sherod Duncan had called GECOM’s IT Manager, Aneal Giddings, “a jagabat” and “a trench crappo,” to the extent that a court date has been set. MP Duncan is expected to appear in Court on Monday, January 17, in relation to the ‘cybercrime offence.’
According to the police, Giddings filed the complained at 11:30hrs on Wednesday (January 12) and by Thursday (January 13), MP Duncan was arrested. 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.
But MP Walton-Desir – who is also an Attorney – said MP Duncan’s case is purely political and is intended to silence the Opposition. “The PPP/C regime continues to demonstrate that they are intent to misuse the law to intimidate and silence their political opponents. Mr. Duncan’s case was clearly politically orchestrated,” she told this newspaper on Saturday.
Outside of the CID Headquarters on Thursday, a number of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) MPs echoed similar sentiments as they await the release of their comrade. Speaking to Talk-Show Host Mark Benschop, during an online programme, Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan said the arrest of MP Duncan is intended to “shut up” the opposition or any dissenting voice. MP Ramjattan said Freedom of Expression is under attack.
Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones also condemned the arrest of MP Duncan and the abuse of the Cybercrime Act. “Today is another dark day for Guyana as Guyana continues to descend further and further into a dictatorship because that is essentially what is happening here. It is a clear attempt by the People’s Progressive Party, as we know them to have done during their 23 years in Government, is to silence the voice of the Opposition or silence any voice of dissent,” he said while pointing out that it was not so long ago that his house was breached by a party of no less than 49 police ranks, despite an injunction by court restricting them from doing so.
He pointed out that since the change in administration a number of opposition aligned individuals have been placed before the court. Inside the National Assembly, Jones said there is a clear attempt to drown out questions and motions tabled by the Opposition. However, he made it clear that the Opposition will not be deterred by the actions of the Government.