Who is a terrorist?
Stabroek News
May 13, 2002

Related Links: Letters on politics
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Dear Editor,

Many of my friends have asked me to comment on the statement made by Amnesty International (AI) cautioning the government on its language in response to criticisms of excesses by members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) notably the Target Special Squad (TSS).

It would appear that AI issued its release after Dr. Luncheon accused the PNC/R and sections of the media of pursuing "terroristic" policies and increasing the risks policemen faced by encouraging anti-police sentiment.

AI had stated in reference to the killing of Shaka Blair of Buxton, East Coast, Demerara and the filing of a private criminal murder charge by Mr Eusi Kwayana against Senior Superintendant of Police Merai, the following statement: "We recognise the duty of states under international human rights laws to protect their population from violent criminal acts. However, crime-fighting must not be undermined through deliberate failure to adhere to international principles on the use of force and firearms. Human rights standards are not simply legal niceties. Rather, they provide the framework through which all human rights may be protected."

The question is "Who or what is a terrorist? A person who practices or favours terrorism." Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language - College Edition. - (Webster's).

What is terrorism? "the use of force and violence to intimidate, subjugate, etc., especially as a political weapon or policy." - Webster's.

"The use of violence for political ends and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear" - Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence and Practice 41st Edition.

"Use of violence, intimidation to achieve ends." - Collins Gem English Dictionary. (Collins) "A condition of fear and submission produced by frightening people; a method of opposing a government internally through the use of terror." - World Book Dictionary (World Book)

"A system of government that seeks to rule by intimidation. Unlawful acts of violence committed in an organised attempt to overthrow government." - Funk & Wagnalls New Comprehensive English Dictionary

- Deluxe Edition. (Wagnalls).

"Calculated use of violence, mayhem, and murder to inspire terror." - Scribner Bantam English Dictionary - (Scribner)

"... The use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear. This definition is a broad one and would extend to such conduct as breaking up a meeting by force; or by force compelling people to take part in a politically motivated, strike - conduct which is in both cases illegal but which would not ordinarily be thought of as terrorism" - sec. 14 (1) of Suppression of terrorism Act l978. The above definitions will help persons to make up their minds about Dr Luncheon's accusations and that of Amnesty International.

Yours faithfully,

Bertwald Bradshaw