Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Below is a statement issued by the law firm of Hughes, Fields and Stoby on behalf of their client, Shadow Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who was prevented by the Immigration Authority from leaving Guyana to attend the Washington Conference on Discrimination in Guyana, where he is slated to be one of the presenters. Patterson had cleared Customs and Immigration and was in the Departure Lounge when an Immigration Officer advised him of an instruction not to have him board the plane. Patterson’s attorneys have advised their client has since instructed constitutional proceedings for damages be commenced against the State.
The full statement follow:-
David Patterson M.P. blocked from leaving the country to attend Congressional meeting, despite an order of court permitting him to leave the country.
On the evening of Tuesday 26th September 2023 David Patterson MP went to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for the purposes of travelling to the United States to deliver a presentation on Guyana to the Black Congressional Caucus on Capitol Hill.
After Mr. Patterson had cleared customs and immigration he was approached by Immigration officers who informed him that he was not permitted to travel.
Mr. Patterson contacted his Attorneys, Hughes Fields and Stoby, who informed him that the magistrate had expressly permitted him to travel for business and professional reasons when he was recently charged, provided he attended the court hearing either virtually or in person.
The Attorneys at law then engaged the Immigration officers and inquired whether they were in possession of any order of Court restraining Mr. Patterson from travelling.
They responded indicating that there did not have any such order neither were they aware of any such order but there was “something in the system” which said Mr. Patterson could not travel.
The attorneys invited the Officers to engage the Head of immigration immediately as Mr. Patterson’s constitution right to travel would be violated if he was prevented from travelling.
The officers asked that the Attorneys call back in five minutes.
On the return call the Attorneys were informed that they were unable to contact the Head or Deputy Head of immigration and in the light of the fact that there was “something in the system” Mr. Patterson would not be permitted to leave the country.
Mr. Patterson was scheduled to deliver presentations today and tomorrow to the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Patterson has instructed that constitutional proceedings for damages be commenced against the State.
Dated the 27th September 2023