Friday 14 August, 2020

Christopher Hunte released on bail

An officer informs Christopher Hunte that he is being detained

An officer informs Christopher Hunte that he is being detained

Talk show personality Christopher Hunte has been released on bail.

Hunte was granted bail in the sum of $500.00. He was arrested by police in Canaries during an 'anti-Chastanet' motorcade around the island on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Hunte is represented by attorneys Thaddeus Antoine and Leslie Mondesir.

According to Antoine, Hunte was charged under section 14 (c) of the Public Order Act which is inciting an unlawful public march.

Video of the arrest spread like wildfire on social media, with many questioning why Hunte was arrested when former United Workers Party minister, Richard Frederick was not.

Frederick had called on Saint Lucians to take part in the activity ahead of Sunday's motorcade. He was removed from the protest by police but was not arrested.

Hours later, Assistant Commissioner of Police Wayne Charlery explained that Frederick was taken away in an effort to disperse that gathering, as the activity was deemed unlawful.

Charlery said: "He was not arrested. Actually he assisted, by law, we have to call on the organizer for the crowd to disperse. I escorted him out of the area and he complied with every lawful instruction that was given, he complied with it."

Police released a statement today which further explained: 

"Mr Frederick made an announcement, on Jeremie Street, Castries, where persons had assembled for the commencement of the procession, stating that permission was not granted for the motorcade. He also urged persons to leave the area.  A video of Mr Frederick making that announcement to the attendees was also circulated on social media.

Later during the day, there was information that the motorcade left Castries and proceeded in the direction of Anse La Raye, despite the announcement of the non-approval, at the apparent behest of one individual. That individual was later detained on suspicion of contravention of the provisions of the Public Order Act."

Others, including high ranking members of the St Lucia Labour Party, damned the arrest as a dictatorial attempt by the Allen Chatanet-led administration to silence protestors.

SLP Party Chairman Moses Jn Baptiste said at a press conference this morning: "The fact that Mr Hunte, and no one else, out of the hundreds who were in the motorcade, was arrested, clearly indicates that this was a deliberate attempt by the authorities to muzzle and intimidate a known critic of the government and the prime minister.

This is very dangerous. The Saint Lucia Labour Party vehemently condemns this oppressive and dictatorial action by the government."

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