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The United States (U.S)-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has issued a strong warning to those who threatened the life of Mr. Lelon Saul, Secretary of the Guyana-based Institute for Action Against Discrimination (IAAD).
Saul, who signed the letter to U.S Vice President Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, outlining the problems in Guyana under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government has received several threats.
Village Voice Sunday carried a statement by IAAD making known that “whereas Mr. Saul is not daunted or intimidated by threats, IAAD wants to make it very clear that we hold Prime Minister Phillips and the Government of Guyana responsible for the safety and security of Mr. Saul.”
According to IAAD’s statement, Saul has been receiving correspondences, including WhatsApp messages, that have either attacked his character or warned the exercise of his rights to freely associate and express could result in harm to his person.
CGID, in its release, said it “has confirmed that Mr. Lelon Saul is now being threatened allegedly by agents of the PPP regime.”
Saul in his column The Crosshair titled, ‘Intolerance of diverse views must not translate to exclusivity among the races,’ stated he has received “a text message from a known PPP operative, debunking a view [he] had earlier expressed on a particular matter.
“The sender was clearly intolerant of my utterances simply because they opposed his policies and stance. Such blatant intolerance left me spellbound as they demonstrated zero tolerance for opposing views and literally attempted to strip me of my democratic right to free independent thoughts.”
CGID said the organisation has informed Harris and Beatty of the recent development and the threat against Saul validates the contentions of his letter. The document, signed by scores of organisations and prominent Guyanese, highlighted the need for social, economic and political justice; human rights and the rule of law in Guyana.
The 15-page statement, titled ‘Organisations representing African Guyanese and others, condemn the government’s persistent acts of racial discrimination and victimisation,’ contained no less than 35 complaints.
IAAD said in light of the existing situation the view is held “Government is deliberately setting the stage for civil unrest, an occurrence that may only serve to compromise our fledgling democracy and create chaos and loss of innocent lives.”
Consequently, the appeal has been made by members of the international community to use their “high offices to influence the requisite changes that can only serve to rectify the situation so that all Guyanese can once again enjoy peace, goodwill, and the patrimony of this dear land.”
The document has garnered reactions from Prime Minister Mark Phillips who referred to it as “mischievous” and Minister Kwame McCoy who accused the signatories of engaging in “fearmongering.” Neither Phillips nor McCoy provided evidence the complaints are untrue.
And according to CGID the threat on Saul’s life “was the exact intent of installed Prime Minister Mark Phillips’ letter attacking and singling out Mr. Saul. It was a dog whistle to PPP extremists…to go after him. The actions of the PPP regime continue to engender civil conflict in Guyana.”
CGID further accused the PPP regime of not believing in democracy and using state violence to silence those who expose discrimination, criminality and poor governance, warning that times are different and the PPP will not be able to get away with these. The organisation also informed that supporters of the PPP are presently under investigation by U.S law enforcement.