Bloodied APNU detainees freed without charge

Bloodied APNU detainees freed without charge

Written by Denis Scott Chabrol –  Demerara Waves
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 16:58

The rubber bullet-riddled back of James Bond

A Guyana-born American, in whose welfare the United States embassy here has been paying keen attention, and former Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Edward Collins are among nine persons released from police custody without charge.

Shortly after former GDF Captain, Fitzroy Corlette,61, was freed he was interviewed by officials of the American embassy who were waiting patiently outside the Brickdam Police Station on him. His lawyer, Michael Somersaul had notified the embassy of his detention. 

Corlette, who lives in Conyers, Georgia, has been here throughout electioneering by the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Corlette was a member of the GDF up to 1983.

Corlette and several others, who were arrested outside the National Insurance Scheme on Winter Place, wer not injured by rubber bullets. The injured, numbering 12, were treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and other medical facilities.

After relating to the embassy officials the sequence of events that led to his processing and incarceration in the lockups, he told Demerara Waves Online News ( ) that he has been assured of legal and other representation should the need arise. “They just came to see if I was fine. They wanted to know what I was charged with and no charges have been explained to me but probably that is going to be explained to me tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said.

Corlette was not injured when police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse about 500 APNU protesters who police say were marching illegally to press their case for a reconciliation of poll statements in the November 28 general and regional elections.

Among those injured were APNU youth activist, Attorney-at-Law, James Bond and former Retired Brigadier, Edward Collins. Clad in a blood-stained white jersey, he expressed surprise that the police opened fire on the protesters. “I was surprised at the way they opened fire, at that distance, without due warning,” he said. “The process continues, the struggle continues.”

APNU leader, Retired Brigadier David Granger lamented that innocent persons were injured by the police although they were peaceful and had not attacked anyone or buildings. Despite repeated pleas by the police for them to disperse because no permission was granted for the gathering or a procession, the APNUites proceeded along Brickdam, south into Winter Place and west into Hadfield Streetwhere they clashed with riot police.


Retired Brigadier Collins shortly after leaving the Brickdam Police Station

APNU claims that there were a number of irregularities including multiple voting, persons being discouraged from voting, altered and missing Statements of Poll and possible ballot box tampering. Those claims have been for the most part been rejected by the Guyana Elections Commission.

Top APNU representatives were Tuesday expected to seek a meeting with Police Commissioner, Henry Greene.

For its part, the police force warned that it would continue to crack down on all protests that it deems illegal.

“The Guyana Police Force wishes to issue another warning that no unlawful march, procession or meeting will be tolerated and that it will deal firmly with any person or persons wishing to breach the peace and disobey the laws,” police spokesman, Ivelaw Whittaker said in a statement.

The police account of Tuesday’s incidents is that around 9 AM a “crowd” of persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution purportedly to be part of a march organized by the Youth Coalition For Transformation, an organisation headed by Attorney-at-Law James Bond and is reportedly the youth arm of APNU.

Police said the group had previously applied for permission to use a noisy instrument at the Square of the Revolution December 4 and 5 with timings. But on Monday around 2:50 PM they applied for a Youth March for Change around the city. No date or time was stated. The group later informed the police that they wanted to march from today Tuesday December 06, 2011.

“This was in breach of the statutory 48 hours notice and no permission was granted to the organisation. This was communicated to Mr. James Bond,” police spokesman, Ivelaw Whittaker said in a statement.

Whittaker noted that the persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution were warned that they should disperse as no permission had been granted for any march.

The police spokesman noted that subsequently a group of persons headed by retired Brigadier Edward Collins was seen formed up on Brickdam facing west and, despite being warned, about 300 persons marched off west along Brickdam. The police then engaged them and they turned south into Winter Place and then west along Hadfield Streetand continued despite being warned again, and the police fired rubber bullets at them. Another section of the crowd turned north into Winter Place and several persons were arrested.


US embassy officials interview Mr. Corlette outside the Brickdam Police Station.

A number of persons sustained minor cuts and bruises.

Shortly after, at about 1055h; another crowd was seen heading east along Duncan Street headed by retired Brigadier Edward Collins and James Bond. The police engaged the crowd and arrested Edward Collins and James Bond. It appeared that they had injuries from an earlier engagement with the police.

All the arrested persons were taken to the Brickdam Police Station from where those persons who were injured were escorted for medical treatment.

At Providence, four buses bringing a total of 115 persons to Georgetown in solidarity with their colleagues in the city were stopped and the drivers detained for operating without a conductor. Attorney-at-Law, Paul Fung-a-Fat said the drivers were expected to be released.

APNU representative, Aubrey Norton told reporters opposite the Providence Police Station that the decision to stop the buses amounted to a flagrant attack on the civil liberties of the activists. “It is evident that it is political harassment. What they are seeking to do is to politically harass you so people cannot protest and it’s a manifestation that this government does not want to accept that it is a minority government,” Norton told Demerara Waves Online News.


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  • honore the people  On 12/08/2011 at 2:44 am

    007 u have to start wearing bullet proof and bullet headgear.
    Protect ur self.

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