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Muslim community demands in-depth probe into “attempted murder” of Fazil Azeez

NIAC AWARD – Son of Fazil Azeeze receiving the NIAC Award on behalf of his father, from President David Granger (ACIC photo)

A section of the Muslim community is calling for a thorough probe into the attempted murder of former Broadcaster and Magistrate, Fazil Azeez who remains bed-ridden.

The call was issued in the presence of President David Granger at recent special function hosted by the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex (ACIC) and the Guyana United Sad’r Islamic Anjuman where the National Islamic Award was presented to Azeez.

The ACIC observed that Azeez is presently bed-ridden having been the victim of a murder attempt “shortly before the elections.” “It is a general opinion that this attempted murder was otherwise motivated and at the function last Saturday, President General of ACIC, Hakeem Khan, called on the government to launch a full investigation into the incident with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to justice,” said the Muslim organisation in a statement.

Azeez was shot on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Eccles, East Bank Demerara. Police had said that the attacker had demanded cash.

But the then opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+ AFC) had stopped short of saying that the incident appeared politically motivated. “”The Coalition has received credible reports that Azeez was not robbed during the attack. Azeez is known for his principled stance against corruption, crime and poor governance,” said the opposition grouping.”

Prior to being shot, Azeez had been a member of a delegation that had endorsed the coalition. After that segment of the Muslim community had apparently come under pressure, the APNU+AFC had been forced to withdraw a media statement about the ACIC’s support.

The National Islamic Awards Committee (NIAC) was created in 1997 and based at the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex. Its prestigious award is given to persons and organizations, both local and overseas, who have contributed significantly to the development of Islam in Guyana.

 The presentation of the award was made to son of Azeez, Gibran on behalf of his father by His Excellency Mr. David Granger. In a moving acceptance speech, young Azeez thanked the Muslim community, especially ACIC for initiating the award for his father and echoed the sentiments for a full investigation into the shooting. He further thanked everyone for their prayers and urged for its continuity as his father is on the road to recovery.

Azeeze has over 40 of experience as a radio announcer and served as the General Manager of the now defunct Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) until he resigned to go overseas to complete his law degree.

A lawyer by profession, Azeez would have worked with most of the Islamic organizations in the country and is a member of the Committee of Management of the Kitty Jamaat.

In recent years, he has been a regular show at ACIC and works very closely with that group.