PRESS RELEASE - Monday 23 February 2011


The Government and the Guyana Police Force should provide a proper explanation to the people of Guyana for the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of two visitors to Guyana, namely, Nation of Islam Advisor, Akbar Muhammad and Phillip Simon, on Thursday 19th May 2011.

It is well known that these visitors to Guyana were released without being charged with any offence and the Police, to date, could provide no information of their initial allegations that these persons were arrested for terrorism and drug trafficking.

While the Constitution of Guyana provides for and gives authority to the Guyana Police Force to arrest and detain persons pending investigations, it is expected that such powers would only be exercised when there is reasonable cause for suspicion. What, therefore, were the alleged terrorist intentions of the detained persons when, according to their statement after release, the Police questions to them related to their activities in Guyana which, we understand included visiting Political Leaders?

It is obvious, from all the evidence available, therefore, that the arrest and detention fits within the paranoia that seem to be affecting the minds of Mr. Clement Rohee and the dictatorial Jagdeo PPP/C Government, as evidenced by the now prevalent practice of political harassment.

Guyanese must be concerned with these developments, for this incident is illustrative of the wanton disregard which the PPP has continued to display for the fundamental rights of citizens, as guaranteed by the Guyana constitution.

In no really democratic country of the world should anyone be arrested or detained without reasonable cause. This is blatantly inconsistent with accepted democratic principles which prescribe or recognize the right of all citizens to be free of arbitrary arrest.

The arrest and detention of Akbar Muhammad and Philllip Simon sends a worrying signal for all Guyanese and visitors alike and, unless there is a satisfactory explained by the GPF and the Government, will send dangerous signals for the future peace and stability of Guyana.

The PNCR demands a full public explanation for the arbitrary detention of Akbar Muhammad and Phillip Simon.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana

Monday 23rd May 2011