By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Women’s rights activist, Sherlina Nageer says she does not accept the apology issued by Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, who verbally assaulted her on Monday, April 20 outside the Whim Magistrate’s Court in Berbice.
During a protest outside the Health Ministry on Wednesday, April 22, Nageer told members of the media that the apology was not made directly to her.
“I don’t accept the apology; the apology wasn’t made to me. The insult is not to me personally but to all the women of Guyana and men…We know it’s just a PR [Public Relations] stunt.”
She said the protest is not in reaction to what occurred between herself and the Minister, but one which is seeking to raise awareness of sexual violence in Guyana and urging people to speak out against it. According to her, this is the fourth such protest with the Health Ministry being chosen as the location.
“When people in high positions, like Ministers and Presidents, when they say things like that, we believe that they should be called out so that’s why we’re here at this location today,” Nageer explained.
When asked what specific action she wants to be seen taken against Dr Ramsaran, Nageer said: “I want to see the Minister do his job; to address the high rates of maternal mortality, address mental health and suicide…The disrespect and the statement towards me just shows us the kind of people that we’re dealing with.”
During the confrontation outside the court house, the Health Minister, who is also a Candidate on the list for the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), threatened to slap and strip Nageer, who interrupted his interview with Reporters, challenging him to defend his record in government.
The exchange of words was recorded, the contents of which was revealed by the media on Tuesday, March 21.
“Shut your mouth and get out my face…I am not entertaining you…You idiot, we have less maternity. I am a Candidate leading these people. We are going to win the elections and do better….Get the hell out of my face…. F off” said Dr Ramsaran could be heard saying on the recording.
He went on to tell Nageer that she is “a little piece of shit…idiot,” and asked a nearby police officer to arrest her.