Dominica Seeking CARICOM’S Assistance To Investigate February 7 Disturbances

ROSEAU, Dominica, Feb 25 2017 – The Dominica Government Friday announced that four officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) had arrived here to conduct an investigation into the February 7 disturbances that resulted in the damage and looting of several buildings in the capital.

National Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore, said that “there is a need for a detailed, comprehensive, independent and transparent investigation into the riot and all preceding circumstances and events leading into it”.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has already stated that the violence and vandalism were part of a strategy by the opposition to unseat his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government.

But the United Workers Party (UWP) and the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) have distanced themselves from the accusations, calling on Skerrit to provide proof. Police have questioned senior officials of both parties.

The violence and vandalism followed a public meeting by the parties held on the street where the Office of the Prime Minister is situated.

Blackmoore said that the government had made a request for investigative services to IMPACS under the regional investigative management system to assist in the investigation and review the evidence gathered of recent public events.

He said four investigators in the area of public events are already here and one of them is also an attorney and will assist “in directing the existing investigations, reviewing all evidence gathered, submit reports to the Commissioner of Police, (and) make recommendations based on findings.

“Ladies and gentlemen this is a matter of tremendous public interest and I therefore call on the public support and cooperation,” Blackmoore said, adding that the government recognises the rights of citizens to self-expression.

“However, in expressing that right, the rights of others and the laws of the land should not be violated,” he said, adding that the incidents on February 7 were not “normal events” and against what we stand for in Dominica.

“All possible action must be taken to prevent this from happening again in our beautiful country, Dominica,” he said.

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