Last Updated on Thursday, 13 January 2022, 22:22 by Denis Chabrol
Opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) parliamentarian Sherod Duncan was Thursday released on $100,000 station bail as part of an ongoing probe into a cybercrime offence he alleged committed against an official of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Attorney-at-Law, Amanza Walton-Desir earlier Thursday said Duncan’s arrest from his home following a report by GECOM’s Information Technology (IT) Manager, Aneal Giddings smacked of political repression and the stifling of freedom of expression by the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration. “We believe that Mr. Duncan has been doing such a tremendous job of exposing the PPPC regime that they are taking the opportunity to abuse the law to persecute men like Mr. Duncan who continue to expose the regime for the inept and corrupt regime that they are,” she said on 195 radio station.
Demerara Waves Online News was told that Duncan was released from custody at about 4 PM. He did not give a statement on Thursday and was told to return to the Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters on Friday.
Mr. Giddings has filed a complaint to police saying that Mr. Duncan uttered derogatory comments on his Facebook programme , In The Ring, on January 10, 2021 and called disrespectful names which caused him significant emotional stress and humiliation.
The Alliance For Change (AFC), to which Mr. Duncan belongs, condemned the “political witch hunt and political persecution of vocal critics of the PPP regime” and called on the police to drop the allegations that have been levelled against him.
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon deemed the allegations by Mr. Giddings as “juvenile” and aimed at distracting Guyanese from the “eroding structures currently existing at GECOM.”
Accusing the government of selectively using the Cybercrime Act to conveniently target members of the Opposition “in an effort to muzzle us,” Mr. Harmon urged the police force not to subject itself to interference. “The APNU+AFC coalition is calling on the Guyana Police Force to rid itself of political interference and conduct itself in a professional manner in keeping with its mandate to serve and protect the people of Guyana.”
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the largest party in APNU, promised to provide all the required support to Mr. Duncan. “The PNCR stands firmly with Mr. Sherod Duncan and will do everything to ensure that his
rights, especially his freedom of expression to be no longer violated. “