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Police Force will use “all lawful means” to clear Belladrum public road

The Guyana Police Force on Sunday night called on protestors at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice to cease blocking the public road.

The force warned that it would use all legal means to clear the road of the protesters who are also violating the COVID-19 guidelines.

“The Police wish to inform that it will use all lawful means necessary to clear the public roadway at Belladrum of all unlawful obstructions in order to make it safe for use by the citizens of Guyana,” the force said.

The Police Force maintained that the protesters have no basis for arguing that Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo was unlawfully arrested and detained since last week Tuesday.

He is expected to be arraigned on Monday in four charges of misconduct in public office.

Following is the full text of the police force’s statement.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) views with grave concern the unlawful protests at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice.

These protests have been taking place against the detention of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Returning Officer for Region 4 Mr. Clairmont Mingo as part of ongoing investigations into electoral fraud following the elections on March

The Guyana Police Force categorically states that these protests are not only illegal, but they also represent a threat to public safety due to the riotous behaviour of those involved in the illegal protests.

Such behaviour can only cause harm to the well being of innocent citizens.

Additionally, it constitutes a denial of the rights and freedoms of tens of thousands of citizens who need to use the public roadway in the exercise of their constitutional freedom of movement.

Moreover, the gathering of protestors and the miles-long build-up of traffic on both sides of the road at Belladrum are a clear violation of the Covid-19 guidelines which are are currently in place as part of Government’s efforts to mitigate the effects and spread of the global pandemic in Guyana, thereby endangering the lives of tens of thousands of Guyanese. 

The Guyana Police Force is therefore encouraging those who have been engaging in these illegal protests to immediately desist from continuing in these activities that will only serve to disrupt the normal lives of the residents of the village of Belladrum in particular and the entire country in general.

The Police Force maintains that the detention of Mr. Mingo in custody is lawful as ruled upon by the High Court in an Application filed by Mr. Mingo’s Attorney Darren Wade for Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum.

The Police wish to inform that it will use all lawful means necessary to clear the public roadway at Belladrum of all unlawful obstructions in order to make it safe for use by the citizens of Guyana.