The Rule of Law and the fundamental right to Counsel are stated to be hallmarks of a democratic society. Today the actions of the members of the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) towards our colleague, Ms. Tamieka Clarke, Attorney-at-Law sought to destroy these foundations of our democracy.
It has come to our attention that around 10am today, Friday 28th October, 2022, our colleague, Ms. Tamieka Clarke, Attorney-at-Law and member of the Association was arrested and kept in custody by members of the Guyana Police Force’s Specially Organized Crime Unit.
From all indications, this arrest was prompted by the Attorney-at-Law’s advice to a client to exercise his constitutional right to remain silent and follows a threat made to the Attorney-at-Law earlier this week that she would be arrested if her client does not give a Statement to the Police on a matter they are investigating.
The Bar Association unreservedly and unequivocally condemns the actions of the Guyana Police Force. Such action is disturbing, perverse, unlawful, oppressive and wholly unacceptable.
We call on the Commissioner of Police to:
- forthwith issue an apology to Ms. Tamieka Clarke, Attorney-at-Law;
- compensate Ms. Clarke for her unlawful imprisonment;
- launch a full investigation into the matter at hand with such necessary disciplinary action enforced swiftly, including charges being laid against the offending officer(s), there being no lawful grounds for the arrest; and
- take disciplinary action, including termination of any officer(s) who were aware of and allowed this type conduct.
We understand that through the intervention of Counsel, Ms. Clarke has since been released. The Bar Association inclusive of its Criminal Bar Committee do not take this matter lightly and will take all necessary steps to ensure that our members can exercise their professional duties without intimidation and that the Rule of Law is upheld.
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