Press Release People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana. Thursday 15 May 2008

At 2 am today, Thursday May 15th, Mr. Cyrus Boyce, personal security detail attached to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin was arrested by ranks of the Joint Services at his home at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara and locked up at the Alberttown Police Station. His arrest followed the cordoning off of the house he lives in at Better Hope by some thirty (30) fully armed ranks of the Joint Services and a search of the building by eight of the (8) ranks. After the search, allegedly for arms and ammunition, nothing was found. He was then invited to CID headquarters to aid the Police in an investigation.

Boyce queried the reason for the invitation and indicated that if he was being invited to CID Headquarters he would willingly report there at 8 am today. He was, however, informed that he was being arrested and the officer carrying out the arrest, a Superintendent Alves, indicated that it was for robbery under arms. The Police also searched another building nearby, but it was unclear whether anyone was arrested at that location. Upon enquiry today, May 15, by legal counsel, an officer at CID Headquarters indicated that Boyce was arrested for murder and robbery under arms.

This latest incident follows the arrest and detention of the personal chauffeur of the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Mc Kenzie, yesterday in Georgetown. He was arrested while driving a vehicle belonging to the Leader of the Opposition that was engaged in announcing the Cost-of-Living March scheduled for Thursday May 15 at 1 pm. Mc Kenzie was informed at the Brickdam Police Station that his arrest was for using a noisy instrument without permission. It is significant, however, that while he was about to be released on his own recognizance, instructions were issued from higher up that the Opposition Leader’s vehicle was to be detained and Mc Kenzie was to be locked up in a cell. He was then stripped of his belongings and locked up at Brickdam. It was only after the intervention of legal counsel that Mc Kenzie was released on $5,000 bail and told to report to the Brickdam Police Station at 9 am today.

The Leader of the Opposition and the PNCR do not regard these two developments as unrelated. Rather they are a clear indication of a campaign of harassment by the repressive PPP/C Administration, designed to instill fear, and terrorize supporters of the People’s National Congress Reform and prevent the citizens of Guyana from exercising their constitutional right to protest the crippling economic situation, brought on primarily by the mis- management of the Jagdeo regime.

Reports have also been received by the PNCR that last evening scores of young men were arrested indiscriminately in the West Ruimveldt, East La Penitence and Albouystown areas and placed in a truck and taken to an unknown destination without any explanation given by the Police for their arrests. The arrest of these of young men is similar to the exercise conducted last week Wednesday, May 7th, prior to the Cost-of-Living march on May 8th, when dozens of young men were also arrested and later released on Friday, May 9th without any charges being laid.

The PNCR draws public attention to these provocative developments which can only further undermine confidence in the Guyana Police Force, deepen the instability in the society, and poison the future political development of the country.

The PNCR and its supporters will not be terrorized by the Jagdeo dictatorship. Instead of implementing repressive measures and trampling on the rights of the citizens, the Jagdeo regime would be better advised to introduce a comprehensive menu of measure, which could bring a measure of relief to the hard pressed citizens of Guyana, reeling from the consequences of the escalating cost of living induced by the 16% VAT and stagnant wages and salaries. Until then the PNCR will not be deterred from utilizing all available steps, under the laws and constitution, to bring to the attention of the Jagdeo Administration the serious plight of the Guyanese working class at this time.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday 15 May 2008