Police placed at press table in National Assembly
Policemen, believed to have been armed, were placed at the press table of the Parliamentary Chambers today, in a move that has shocked reporters.
One Policeman sat at the press table and he was replaced by another in the afternoon; both were in civilian attire and were from the Criminal Investigations Department.
It is so far unclear why they were there, but the move followed events this week when Policemen were called in to evict Parliamentarian Juan Edgehill.
The reporters were urged by the Guyana Press Association to seek clarity. The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Sherlock Isaacs told reporters who inquired that the Policeman should not have been seated there. Mr Isaacs was unsure who instructed the Policeman to be there.
Senior police officers were called in to ascertain the situation and the Policeman left the press table.
Neil Marks, President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA), contacted Commander of the Georgetown Police ‘A’ Division Marlon Chapman and was told that the Policeman was seated at the press table because of a “mix-up.” Chapman said that the Policeman should have been at another location in the Parliamentary Chambers.
Plain clothes Policemen are known to be seated in the Public Gallery on the northern side of the Chambers.
In an invited comment to News Room, the GPA President said he will write the Speaker and Clerk of the Assembly seeking a formal explanation. Marks said he would also seek an assurance that members of the press would be allowed to perform their duties free of this sort of frightening intrusion.
This Monday, reporters were twice asked to leave the Parliamentary Chambers as Police tried to evict Parliamentarian Edghill. The Speaker later denied that he had passed such instructions.