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Ethnic Relations Commission takes trio to court for exciting racial hatred

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2020, 16:50 by Denis Chabrol

The headquarters of the Ethnic Relations Commission located at Peter Rose and Anira Streets, Queenstown, Georgetown.

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has taken three persons to court for allegedly inciting racial hatred or hostility among Guyanese, and one of them has since pleaded guilty, the commission said Thursday.

“Based on the specific nature of their conduct and words, the charges against the defendants included causing ethnic/racial violence or hatred and exciting hostility or ill-will on the basis of race,” the ERC said in a statement.

The Commission said John Gobin pleaded guilty and was fined GYD$20,000 when he appeared before City Magistrate, Rondel Weever on December 9. ” The Magistrate warned him not to repeat the offence or publish any similar material in the future,” the ERC said.

Steve Anthony Barakat pleaded not guilty and was placed on GYD$30,000 bail.  He was represented by Attorney -at-Law Latchmie Rahamat and his matter was adjourned to January 20, 2021 for trial .However, the ERC said Lashona Chester could not be served despite vigorous attempts to locate her. The Magistrate ordered that steps be taken to summon her again and adjourned Chester’s matter to January 20, 2021 as well.

The Commission, through its lawyer Mr. Stanley Moore, SC, filed the complaints in the Georgetown Magistrates Court earlier this month.