A Partnership for National Unity (A.P.N.U.) unreservedly condemns the unprovoked police assault against unarmed, peaceful protesters. The Partnership has extended condolences to the relatives of the three men who were shot dead in Linden on Wednesday 18th July. More than two dozen other persons were injured, some of them seriously.
High level APNU representatives, including the Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier David Granger, 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.
APNU holds the PPP/C administration wholly responsible for the murderous attacks on citizens exercising their fundamental constitutional rights. APNU calls on the President, Mr. Donald Ramotar, to immediately cease the security forces’ aggressive operations against unarmed residents and to suspend the officer-in-charge and the ranks alleged to have been involved in the shooting.
A Partnership for National Unity calls for an independent, judicial inquiry into the shooting and observes that, had the call for an Inquiry into the 6th December 2011 shooting of unarmed protesters been heeded, this atrocity in Linden may have been avoided. APNU reiterates that it will continue to show solidarity with Lindeners and will demand that the Central Government not proceed with the hike in electricity rates.
In the present climate, APNU calls for restraint on all sides and urges Lindeners to maintain the focus of their peaceful legitimate protest.
APNU condemns the Government’s use of the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) to inflame an already tense situation and calls on the President Donald Ramotar, who has Ministerial responsibility for Information, to urge responsibility and not exploit this tragedy for political advantage.
APNU has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly requesting an emergency sitting of the Assembly to address the Linden crisis.