Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Opposition leader calls for charges to be dropped

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Dominica, Jun 12, CMC – Leader of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, has called for the charges to be dropped against six people arrested by the police for participating in street protest in the west coast town of Salisbury on Thursday.

“They did not hurt anybody, they did not fire stone at anybody, they did not threaten anybody, they didn’t injure anybody, they riotously and tumultuously assembled.

“In other words, they were making a lot of noise, they were making a lot of noise in protest and for that they have been charged. They have been released, we are saying that is half the job done. The charges must now be withdrawn,’ Linton told supporters at a public meeting here on Thursday night.

Earlier, Linton told a news conference that the UWP was calling on the government “to bring an immediate end to the politically motivated police attack on the people of Salisbury which has heightened tension around the country and plunged the west coast community into a state of turmoil”.

The six – Keith Bougouneau, Alex Howe, Hilary John, Gilbert Frederick, Christina Eusebe and Peter Vidal – were released on a total of EC$35,000 (One EC dollar -=US$0.37 cents) bail and will appear in court on June 16.

Media workers covering the protests say they were targeted with a reporter from the Dominica News Online website, Esther Durand, writing that she was among journalists attacked.

“We saw the people running away and quickly grabbed our cameras and snapped a few shots,” she said, adding she realized something was wrong when she and the other reporters saw the masked men running towards the house.

“The house we were in was surrounded by these men. We were terrified. My colleague had to crawl to retrieve our equipment and other personal belongings from a table on the porch to avoid being seen,” she said, adding that a woman in the area had to lie to the masked men when she was questioned about the journalists.

“She had to lie to protect us,” she stated.

The protest began after police arrived in the town to arrest individuals, who were allegedly involved in similar protest action on May 11 when residents blocked the main road linking Portsmouth to Roseau in protest over poor farm access roads in the community.

The road was eventually cleared by the police using tear gas.

Meanwhile, the Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) has dismissed a link between the protests and an island-wide power outage on Thursday.

“DOMLEC does not take part in any demonstration or is in favour or not in favour of any demonstration and so our units at Fond Cole and our electricity systems is certainly not linked to any demonstration of any kind,” said the DOLEC public relations officer, Adina Bellot-Valentine.

She said it all has to do with a newly installed transformer at the company’s plant in Fond Cole.

“Upon investigations by the engineers and technicians at the Fond Cole Plant, it was recognized that a transformer which was installed recently has actually blown and that’s what caused the system to trip and trigger the entire generators all over in Sugar Loath, and of course those at Fond Cole, and off course caused the power to go out,” she explained.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Untitled-3

Dominica, Jun 12, CMC – Leader of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, has called for the charges to be dropped against six people arrested by the police for participating in street protest in the west coast town of Salisbury on Thursday.

“They did not hurt anybody, they did not fire stone at anybody, they did not threaten anybody, they didn’t injure anybody, they riotously and tumultuously assembled.

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“In other words, they were making a lot of noise, they were making a lot of noise in protest and for that they have been charged. They have been released, we are saying that is half the job done. The charges must now be withdrawn,’ Linton told supporters at a public meeting here on Thursday night.

Earlier, Linton told a news conference that the UWP was calling on the government “to bring an immediate end to the politically motivated police attack on the people of Salisbury which has heightened tension around the country and plunged the west coast community into a state of turmoil”.

The six – Keith Bougouneau, Alex Howe, Hilary John, Gilbert Frederick, Christina Eusebe and Peter Vidal – were released on a total of EC$35,000 (One EC dollar -=US$0.37 cents) bail and will appear in court on June 16.

Media workers covering the protests say they were targeted with a reporter from the Dominica News Online website, Esther Durand, writing that she was among journalists attacked.

“We saw the people running away and quickly grabbed our cameras and snapped a few shots,” she said, adding she realized something was wrong when she and the other reporters saw the masked men running towards the house.

“The house we were in was surrounded by these men. We were terrified. My colleague had to crawl to retrieve our equipment and other personal belongings from a table on the porch to avoid being seen,” she said, adding that a woman in the area had to lie to the masked men when she was questioned about the journalists.

“She had to lie to protect us,” she stated.

The protest began after police arrived in the town to arrest individuals, who were allegedly involved in similar protest action on May 11 when residents blocked the main road linking Portsmouth to Roseau in protest over poor farm access roads in the community.

The road was eventually cleared by the police using tear gas.

Meanwhile, the Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) has dismissed a link between the protests and an island-wide power outage on Thursday.

“DOMLEC does not take part in any demonstration or is in favour or not in favour of any demonstration and so our units at Fond Cole and our electricity systems is certainly not linked to any demonstration of any kind,” said the DOLEC public relations officer, Adina Bellot-Valentine.

She said it all has to do with a newly installed transformer at the company’s plant in Fond Cole.

“Upon investigations by the engineers and technicians at the Fond Cole Plant, it was recognized that a transformer which was installed recently has actually blown and that’s what caused the system to trip and trigger the entire generators all over in Sugar Loath, and of course those at Fond Cole, and off course caused the power to go out,” she explained.