An independent commission of inquiry should be appointed into the Linden shootings
The AFC New York/New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland Chapters are deeply saddened and express our grave concern and strong condemnation of the attacks on the citizens of Linden that occurred on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
The intimidation and violation of the fundamental rights of the people to protest that resulted in the killings of young innocent lives were totally appalling and uncalled for. The purchase of the water cannon not so long ago, clearly shows the intention of the Government of Guyana.
We join with the AFC’s leadership in Guyana and support its call for the following steps to be implemented immediately:
1. the appointment of an Independent Commission of Inquiry with international agency representation and involvement and a ‘Good Officer‘ to manage the process;
2. the immediate removal of the commanding officer and ranks involved in the incident;
3. the resignation of the Minster of Home Affairs. The overseas Chapters also would like to see the resignation of PM Sam Hinds. His representation of Lindeners at a time of crisis was and is most repugnant;
4. a moratorium on the imposition of the rate hike pending a review by a panel of experts.
It is our hope that the international community will conduct a full investigation which would lead to the prosecution of those who were involved in these attacks. The constant victimization of the citizens of Guyana by their government and by extension, the Guyana Police Force, is what makes us all feel angry and violated. For too long the Guyana Police Force, under the ministerial stewardship of Mr Clement Rohee, has proven to be incompetent on many fronts when it comes to fighting crime, investigating corruption and securing the fundamental rights of innocent protesters, so we now seek the removal of Mr Clement Rohee immediately from his duties as Minister of Home Affairs.
We call on the government to ensure the safety and security of all the citizens of Guyana by taking concrete measures to prevent further attacks, intimidation and violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms accorded to every citizen regardless of their race, political beliefs, affiliations and economic situation. Finally, Guyana is our home as well, and we intend to help make it a place worth living in. As such, we hope that the government officials of Guyana and the international community will take urgent and appropriate action on this matter.