Guyana Opposition Condemn Police Killings In Linden

News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Fri. July 20, 2012: Guyana’s opposition parties have all denounced the use of deadly force by police in the South American nation that left three people dead.

Their comments come as outrage continued over the death of three protestors who were part of a group rallying in Linden on Wednesday 18th July 2012 against electricity hikes in the town.

“The use of force and more so of deadly force, against the residents of Linden has to be condemned,” the Alliance for Change party said. “This situation has been crying out for attention for several months now, and should never have been allowed to escalate to the point where the residents of Linden had to use extreme measures to gain the Government’s attention. These killings have taken us to a tipping point of serious and widespread social and civil unrest. Therefore, the AFC calls on the government to immediately instruct the security forces not to use any force whatsoever, or to do anything to inflame an already volatile situation.”

The Peoples National Congress Reform also condemned the wanton shooting as well Wednesday 18th July 2012.

“The electricity tariff at Linden is not a privilege to its citizens, but a legitimate right earned by their forbears who struggled against odds in difficult conditions to build and develop the Bauxite Industry for more than a century,” said the PNC. “The right to reasonable electricity rates was not, therefore, a concession, but a benefit earned after long and difficult negotiations by the leaders of that Community.”

A Partnership For National Unity, also condemned what it termed “the misuse of the Guyana Police Force by the PPP/C Administration.”

“The PPP/C sent to Linden the same ranks that shot the A.P.N.U. marchers in December 2011 in Georgetown,” said the APNU in a statement. “It is abundantly clear that those ranks went to Linden to repeat what they did in Georgetown a few months ago: Shoot indiscriminately to kill and maim citizens in the expectation that this will solve the problem. The PNCR puts the PPP/C on notice that it will not stand idly by and allow these excesses to continue without redress.”

High level APNU representatives, including the Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier David Granger, said they have seen victims of the police shooting and it is evident that both pellets and live ammunition had been used indiscriminately.

“There was no evidence that adequate warning was given to the protestors to disperse. It is clear that the Linden protest was a peaceful and lawful assembly and there was no attempt by the police to adhere to the principle of minimum force,” the APNU said.