ERC clears Cathy Hughes of allegations of racial motive
Kaieteur News – The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has cleared National Unity Partnership + Alliance for Change (APNU + AFC) Member of Parliament Cathy Hughes from allegations of racial motive.
Hughes had been accused of making some racially charged statements on Facebook in December last year following a clash between relatives of the slain cousins Henry and police ranks. A photo of a comment allegedly made by an APNU + AFC MP prompted an ERC investigation.
A summary of the comments reads “Why, Why, Why. Hasn’t this family got more than most can bear? Madness ”to which someone responded,“ It seems to me that if someone wants a civil war in this country, our people are being too quiet and these people need attention ”. He then showed the image Hughes allegedly responding to the comment saying “This country needs a civil war”.
Following the circulation of the image, the ERC released a statement stating that they had quickly initiated an investigation into the comment which “called for an undesirable and dangerous act that may negatively affect ethnic relations”.
However, Hughes denied making the comment, saying it was “fraudulent” and “completely untrue”.
Yesterday, the ERC issued a letter of apology to Hughes explaining to her that she had been cleared of the allegations. However, the Commission was liable to launch the investigations as such comments whether true or false could not be taken lightly.
In the letter to Hughes, the ERC explained that, given its mandate, the Commission must receive and investigate complaints of racial, ethnic, religious and cultural discrimination brought to its attention.
The ERC nevertheless noted that the team had concluded that the comment “this country needs a civil war” is intended to create nothing more than mischief in the Guyanese population.
As such, the Commission noted that it acknowledged the source and identity of the individual (s) involved in the comment made.
In that regard, the Commission said it will send its findings to the police Cybercrime Unit for necessary action.
In the meantime, the Commission took the opportunity to apologize to Hughes for any public ridicule made and expressed his willingness to provide any further assistance, which he considers necessary in assisting with the investigation.