Relatives of Crum-Ewing, others protest Opposition Leader’s office for justice

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The group of seven persons who call themselves ‘Mourning families and friends in white’ on Monday morning protested the Opposition Leader’s Office calling for justice for loved ones killed during the People’s Progressive Party’s 23 years in office.

Marching in front of the Church Street, Georgetown office, half of the protestors are related to Courtney Crum-Ewing who was murdered in 2015, two months before the May 11 general and regional election.

Holding a placard which reads ‘Jagdeo must explain who ordered executions of Ronald Waddell and Courtney Crum-Ewing’, Michelle Hughes said the family needs justice.

Hughes is a cousin of Crum-Ewing.

“It is going so long and persons are going on like we don’t know what’s happening and nobody is concerned,” Hughes said.

Michelle Hughes

She said hundreds of other families who lost relatives to extra-judicial killings prior to 2015, are also mourning.

“We are hurting because we have family and friends who were gunned down [under] the past Government and we want justice. We are calling to open back this case and we need speedily judgement,” she added.

Courtney Crum-Ewing was gunned down at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara on March 10, 2015, while calling on persons to go out and vote.

Regan Rodrigues called ‘Grey Boy’ was charged with the murder of Crum-Ewing after the gun used to commit the murder was found at his home.

However, he was freed on September 14, 2016, following a no-case submission filed by his lawyer and again in June 2017 after the case was reopened.

Asked why the protest is being held now, Hughes said she believes it is the opportune time for persons to be reminded of the wrongs under the previous administration.

“We think this is the right time that we can be out here…for the 20 something years that we had so much deaths…and these people are walking free and talking so much ill things about this Government,” she said.

Some of the placards read: ‘Jagdeo must Go! No more right wing death squads in Guyana’, ‘Jagdeo, how can you celebrate when you ran a Narco criminal state and taught us how to hate’, ‘No more Jagdeo to repeat of executions of more than 400 plus Guyanese’, ‘480+ young Guyanese lives matter’ and ‘Jagdeo you want Election but we want satisfaction.’

Penda Guyan

Leading the group was Penda Guyan, a woman who said she is related to Justin Jones who went missing decades ago. She is calling on the Government to launch an inquiry into the killings to find who is culpable.

“We’re asking the President and Government of this country to open immediately an investigation into those killings because the families have been disturb, they cannot rest,” she said.

In January 2018, the Government hinted at a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the extra-judicial killing of more than 1,000 persons during a six-year period. Subsequently, a CoI into the Lindo creek massacre was commissioned.

Opposition members were seen observing the protest action.

The coalition Government estimates that 1,431 persons were killed during that period which began with a jail-break in February 2002 of five inmates.

During the protest, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo was not in office but opposition members were seen observing the protest action.

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