Letter: IAC apologizes to Nigel Austin

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On Tuesday, November 21, 2017, a letter published from the Indian Action Committee (IAC) which expressed the organization’s shock, outrage, and condemnation of a post on the social media site Facebook which contained a message, attributed to someone alleged to be Nigel Austin, whose face, allegedly, was portrayed.

One day later, Mr Austin contacted the IAC by a phone call followed by emails, stating that the IAC among others had published incorrect information and that he and his family were being verbally abused as a result of this publication.

The IAC, following Mr Austin’s intervention, early Thursday, submitted the controversial Facebook post to an IT expert from the University of Guyana for its considered opinion.

The IAC has received the following response:

(1) The provided screenshot of the offending Facebook post has been identified as a malicious forgery.

(2) The image appears on have been created by combining two different screenshots.

(3) The name and image of Nigel Austin appear to have been taken from a past comment made on Facebook by Nigel Austin.

(4) The content of the comment was created and posted by a third party (identified as one Denish Raj Mallay by Nigel Austin) and posted to Facebook.

(5) The time stamp on the comment described in (4) indicates that the screenshot was taken immediately after it was posted.

(6) It is unlikely that Denish Raj Mallay saw the alleged offending comment immediately after it was posted, in order to take a screenshot with the time stamp indicating that the comment was posted “Just now”. A more plausible explanation is that Denish Raj Mallay created and posted the comment himself, after which he immediately took the screenshot.

(7) Finally, the name of Nigel Austin and the content of the comment are NOT aligned in accordance with Facebook’s format. The content of the comment is indented to the right under Nigel Austin’s name. Facebook does not indent the content of any comment.

The IAC, therefore, offers Nigel Austin a full apology and regrets any mental distress he and his family have suffered as a result of this sequence of events.

The IAC is outraged at these egregious and reprehensible anti-national acts against the fragile social cohesion fabric of this ethnically bifurcated nation.

The IAC is calling upon all Guyanese, resident in Guyana and abroad, to desist from such ‘obscene’ and ‘demonic’ behaviour which can only cause further capsizing of the delicate relationship that has been established between the two major ethnic groups in Guyana.

Yours sincerely,

Indian Action Committee

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