NYC Institute Condemns Assassination Of Guyanese Anti-PPP Activist

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Mar. 11, 2015: The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has joined others in condemning the assassination of well known Guyanese anti-PPP government activist, former Guyana Defense Force Officer Courtney Crum-Ewing, while campaign against Guyana’s ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

CGID expresses outrage at the unrelenting killing, with impunity, of PPP opponents, solely because of their anti-government activism. Almost all of these murders are unsolved. The refusal of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to seriously investigate these murders is a repudiation of justice and a mockery of the rule of law.

“Mr. Crum-Ewing’s assassination is reminiscent of the assassination of journalist Ronald Waddell, who was killed by a death squad allegedly operated by then PPP Cabinet Minister Ronald Gajraj and Roger Khan – now convicted and imprisoned in the United States,” the CGID’s Rickford Burke said earlier today.  “This latest assassination followed a hate speech by former President Bharrat Jagdeo, which appealed to the evil Trojan of Guyana’s politics – race and racial violence.  Mr. Jagdeo hurled the most profane racial epithets and deserves harsh condemnation.”

Courtney Crum-Ewing was in Diamond Village, Guyana, on Tuesday evening, using a loudhailer to urge citizens to go out and vote in the general elections on May 11, 2015. While in the act of campaigning, a car with four occupants drove up and shot him in the head. He was taken to the Diamond hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Crum-Ewing’s relatives have called for independent international pathologists to observe the autopsy, as well as for independent forensic and ballistic experts to assist in the investigation. We will pursue this matter with US officials.

Crum-Ewing was a zealous protester against Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, who was caught on tape threatening that journalists at Kaieteur newspapers, Guyana’s largest daily, will die in retaliation for their exposure of alleged corruption involving the Attorney General. Gunmen previously attacked the premises of the newspapers and killed several employees.

“This is incontrovertibly a political assassination calculated to provoke a reaction that will engender racial fears and polarization, as the nation prepares for general elections. This evil tactic must not be tolerated; especially at this juncture of unprecedented unity, which has propelled Guyana to threshold of dramatic political change. It must be aggressively repelled by right thinking members of the security forces,” the CGID added.

The organization also called for the speedy arrests and prosecution of Crum-Ewing’s killers. “We call on President Donald Ramotar to request the assistance of international law enforcement in this investigation as the people have no confidence in the GPF to conduct an objective, unbiased and professional investigation,” the CGID said.  “We also call on the people of Guyana to remain resolute in the fight for political change and the restoration of full democracy to Guyana.”