…against PPP in handcuffing
The handcuffing of Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington after they arrived in court to answer the SOCU charge of “misconduct in public officials” demonstrates more than any other act up to now, that justice is furthest in the minds of this PNC-led Government.
There’s already been much comment from impartial commentators about the Government scraping the barrel for that arcane common law charge to drag the two former PPP Government officials into the courts – and now THIS!!
Way back in 1769, Blackstone enunciated the rule on shackling in court: the accused “must be brought before the bar without irons, or any manner of shackles or bonds; unless there be evident danger of an escape.” And that’s been the rule in civilised jurisdictions ever since and was ratified as recently as 1988 in R vs Vratsides.
The US Supreme Court’s taken the firmest stand against handcuffing accused persons in the docks – for the very same reason as the common law: it violated their presumption of innocence and due process!! There’s a difference between “convicted” and “accused” that’s at the foundation of liberty.
The rules are very clear that in a Magistrate’s court, the decision to handcuff isn’t one for the Police to make – only the Magistrate so decide whether the accused poses a danger to anyone in the court or – even if other measures are taken such as the posting of Policemen at strategic points – he remains a flight risk. But the officials all know this – they’ve been around the (legal) block and then some. This is pure and simple bile and spite against the PPP.
Singh and Brassington are just the convenient proxies in the PNC’s second prong of their pincer movement to destroy the PPP as a credible force. The first movement was firing 5700 sugar workers from GuySuCo and making redundant another 2000 from private cane farmers in their unilateral closure of four sugar estates.
The PNC’s always bristled at the loyalty of sugar workers to the PPP – since they represented the loyalty of the masses.
Singh and Brassington’s persecution – and it’s a “persecution” and NOT a “prosecution” – is supposed to be an object lesson to the young professionals who’ve supported the PPP. The PNC means to show them their future will be destroyed and their reputations dragged into the mud, through the courts. In the end, it won’t matter whether they’re convicted or not: the message will already have been sent.
Supporters of the PPP in the lower strata will be left jobless to starve while those in the middle and top tier will be dragged in the mud in chains.
But after the PPP – it’ll be their own supporters.
Veteran human-resources expert, Nowrang Persaud, who enlightens the nation via his letters with his observations on matters Guyanese, made a pertinent observation recently about President Granger’s speech at the 180th Indian arrival event: “The speech included in some detail, the involvement of Indo-Guyanese immigrants in all aspects of manual, physical and structural activities. However, there was a patently noticeable exclusion of their significant involvement and contribution to the equally if not more important mental/intellectual/scientific/managerial and investment aspects of Guyana’s development.”
The “big question (of course) is why?” For the answer, one has to only look at the PNC’s actions in their first iteration under Burnham – Granger’s template as the present PNC leader and President. The civil service had already been dominated by non-Indians, so Burnham merely ensured the few Indians were sycophants.
Ditto for the officer corps of the exponentially expanded Disciplined Forces and the managers of the 80 per cent nationalised economy. Indian-Guyanese, then and now, are to be the “haulers of water and hewers of wood”.
Why mention those to be made redundant?
The Chronic’s gleeful report goes even beyond the PNC’s bile: “Handcuffed and escorted under Police guard, Singh and Brassington had only a few hours arrived in Guyana from overseas, when they were dragged before the court.”
Handcuffed and dragged!!