Four opposition activists have been denied station bail and will be kept in police lock-up until Friday, when they will appear before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on charges that they held an illegal public meeting outside Parliament.
Luzette King, a retired nurse, her niece Adriana King, a 42-year-old teacher on suspension from the classroom, Robert “Patches” Knights-King, a calypsonian and John Mofford were arrested outside the Parliament building, in Kingstown, earlier today (Thursday), police have confirmed to iWitness News.
Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News Thursday night that she is acting for the quartet, who has each been charged that they failed to comply with the instructions of Roycel Davis, Corporal of Police 471, when instructed to disperse from “an unlawfully held public meeting which was held within 200 yards of the Court House building when the House of Assembly was sitting”, contrary to Section 10(3)(a) of the Public Order Act.
Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that initially, a fifth person, a woman, was also arrested but she was released without charge.
The lawyer noted that her clients were charged under the Public Order Act and accused of failing to disperse from a public meeting.
“I don’t know what public meeting they were having,” Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News.
“And what is worse, on a petty thing like this, they have asked to keep them there overnight,” she said, adding that her clients have been denied station bail and will remain in custody overnight.
The lawyer said she has been unsuccessful in her attempts to reach Commissioner of Police Colin John on a number at which she had contacted him in the past.
She said that Luzette and Adriana have both asked to go to the hospital, saying that they are not feeling well.
“They were at the courthouse, apparently holding up placards. They were not holding a public meeting. They were there as is the right of every Vincentian,” the lawyer said, adding, “this annoyed someone”, triggering the arrest.
Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that she had seen a video of someone assaulting Luzette.
“She asked what she was being arrested for and she was thrown in a vehicle,” the lawyer said, adding that after the arrest, her client complained of feeling pain.
“As I said, I don’t see the reason except it is vindictiveness to keep them overnight. Once they have charged them, they could give them bail or have someone sign bail for them,” she said.
Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News the arrest of the activists was a “misuse of the resources of the state”.
The charge against Adrianna comes even as she has been suspended from the classroom pending the outcome of a charge that on Aug. 5, 2021, in Kingstown, she obstructed Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves while he was going to Parliament, the sixth charge brought against her as a result of her alleged involvement in protests in Kingstown in July and August 2021.
Further, Adriana, Knights-King and Mofford were among eight people against whom Director of Public Prosecution Sejilla Mc Dowall, in December 2021, withdrew two counts of being concerned in organising a public procession without notifying the Commissioner of Police at least 24 hours before the procession and two counts of knowingly taking part in a public procession/meeting in contravention of Section 5(2) of the Public Order Act, offences allegedly committed earlier in 2021.
Luzette has been prosecuted multiple times in connection with her activism.
This government uses more resources to suppress anyone that opposes it’s policies than it does in the fight against crime which is out of control in St Vincent. Will be good to find out how much is spent by this government to monitor, arrest, tap and listen in to conversations of anyone in the opposition and how much man hrs is actually put into these activities by the police.
I firmly believe that more than half of the resources available to the police is spent on monitoring the opposition political party and that may help to explain the out of control murder and crime wave we’re experiencing in Vincy.
If these recent arrests is not based on spite, misuse of state funds and heavy handesness on the part of government, tell what is?
As we see once again, the long of the ULP has reach out and touched citizens of the great nation, while the other arm is walking around Kingstown in community policing. Or is it the same arm? The Holy Scriptures say in James 3 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree grow olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.…
Lucette, thank Abba Father yo did not pissss and shitttt down yo pamper becauze yo nar wear none.
Until Vincentians wake up from their deep sleep, these things will keep happening, that’s all I have to say
This is oppression. Where is the freedom of speech and expression in SVG. Who ever created this law need to be put behind bars. How can you arrested people for peaceful protest. Little by little people in power will take your rights away. Citizens in svg should be outrage with this arrest.
Are you also suggesting that the police is involved? Just asking?
Something is not right: Why are persons being arrested for peaceful demonstrations in SVG? This is the same thing that happened during slavery and even after slavery. Folks were not allowed to voice their objections to issues that affected their lives.
The police and ULP supporters are killing and assault people quite easily and nothing happens to them.
There has to be a system where the police can be charged for false arrest. Otherwise folks may take things in a different direction and that can be an open season for conflicts.
lawful protest is a constitutional right and is guaranteed by the constitution as a democratic right enshrined in it. If that’s the case, why were they arrested?
When they throw stones, dirt , grass and what ever else on you all, use them as ferilizers to get stronger. It is written, vengeance is Mine say the Lord, I will repay.
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