Ministry of the Presidency condemns malicious article published by Guyana Times

Georgetown, Guyana – (December 20, 2017) The Ministry of the Presidency dismisses and rejects the malicious and wicked publishing of false articles relating to His Excellency, President David Granger in what appears to be a campaign aimed at besmirching his character and reputation by the publishing of a piece headlined, “Man pardoned by President jailed on rape charge,” which appeared in the Guyana Times Newspaper on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

The misleading article stated that, “An ex-convict, who was pardoned by President David Granger two years ago, has been jailed again, this time for raping a 48-year-old woman”. The offender was identified by the newspaper as Raymond Gouveia, called “Ryan”, 22, of West Coast Berbice.

The Ministry of the Presidency would like to inform the editor of the Guyana Times Newspaper and the public that the President did not pardon anyone by the name “Raymond Gouveia, called “Ryan” in 2015. The newspaper also stated that “In 2015, Gouveia was sentenced for sexually assaulting a young lady, who also lived on the West Coast of Berbice.”

The Ministry takes this time to explicitly state that the Head of State has only pardoned non-violent offenders, non-cocaine offenders.

The Ministry urges the Guyana Times to commit to truth, clarity and transparency. The lists of people pardoned by the President, the majority of whom were women, were all made public and the contents therein are easily verifiable.  The Guyana Times, instead of seeking verification, chose to report the comments of unnamed ‘residents of his village’ as fact in this regard. A simple perusal of the list of those pardoned showed clearly that there was no “Raymond Gouveia, called “Ryan” or any one for that matter, with a sexual assault offence.

The Ministry of the Presidency, in the strongest possible terms, condemns and rejects these articles as a wicked falsification. The Ministry of the Presidency is therefore calling on all right-thinking Guyanese, particularly the Media corps to be guided by the tenets and principles, which uphold journalism and advises citizens not to be taken in by the daily inundation of truths, mischief and falsehoods, which have been emanating from the various places, seemingly operating with an unmistakable agenda that is politically directed.

The Ministry of the Presidency is, therefore, calling on the Guyana Times to print a retraction of the claims in this article, which can only be described as irresponsible.

The Ministry is also calling on the Guyana Press Association to recognise its role as the body responsible for maintaining professional standards among its membership to condemn this level of careless reporting. 

While the Government stands resolutely in the protection of freedom of speech and press freedom in Guyana and condemns, in the strongest possible way, any impeachments, it does not believe that the publishing of untruths, propaganda and misleading information could be considered a joke. It is a serious and undeniable act designed to mislead, create panic and resentment among the citizens towards the Government of the day.

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