Quote from US report was inaccurate

Dear Editor,

Mr Oliver Hinckson is innocent. That is, he is innocent unless a court in Guyana says otherwise. Because he is an innocent civilian, Mr Hinckson has every right to celebrate and enjoy his innocence. However, his attempt to celebrate his innocence by referring (incorrectly) to a US State Department Human Rights report on Guyana: 2008, is a step in the wrong direction. Also, it is very misleading.

Because his case is before a court in Guyana, publication of an opinion on the merits of the case is wrong. This includes, for example, the publication of a letter in a local newspaper recently, written by Mr Hinckson, supposedly citing from the US report. Contrary to what Mr Hinckson claimed, the US report did not state clearly and categorically any official US position on his case. The US report merely stated that there is, locally, widespread reporting that his case is of a certain type. (I will not state the type.) Mr Hinckson used a quoted line in his letter which he claims is in the US report, but which in fact does not exist anywhere in it.

Further, he wrote about charges; the US report only mentioned one charge, sedition.

Finally, whether Mr Hinckson offended the Guyana government or the Guyana government offended Mr Hinckson, is a decision for a court in Guyana to make. A foreign government body should not be used to substitute for Guyana’s judiciary.

Yours faithfully,
Rakesh Rampertab

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