December 8, 2006
On Tuesday this week, 5th of December, 2006, at around 2.30 in the afternoon Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly received a telephone call from a group of fishermen at the Roche Caiman market. They wanted us to witness the harassment they were being subjected to by the Police Force. On reaching the Roche Caiman market we could identify four members of the ADAMS squad in full uniform with riot batons in hand. According to eye witnesses at the scene more police officers banishing AK47 had just left minutes before we got there.
According to the fishermen at Roche Caiman this is an attempt by the Authority to drive them out of the area because the developers find them (fishermen) as a nuisance to the ongoing development in the area. The Police Force is being used to brutalise them away from the immediate surroundings of Eden Island and Angels Fish - thus the heavy handed tactics being employed by uniform and plain clothes police officers with AK47 and riot batons since Monday, this week, at the Roche Caiman market. The police is using the pretext that the activities of the fishermen are a danger to road safety. This is clearly an excuse because to date no accident has been caused in the area as a direct result of the fishermen activities there. On Tuesday, when Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly was called to the area it was off-peak hours. The circulation of traffic on the Roche Caiman road was negligible. We would have understood if it was peak hours and the fishermen’s activities was creating a traffic jam or presented some other danger to the passing traffic, it was not. The police presence there was clearly not reasonable and by all standards. It is simply an act of harassment and persecution on the part of agents of the SPPF government.
Also on the scene at the Roche Caiman market on Tuesday were Mr. Roger Mancienne and Mr. Davidson Barra from the ‘Regar’ publication. They stayed well away from the police officers. On approaching the ADAMS squad the Weekly reporter overheard one of them saying “mon pou bez Roger Mancienne lo son latet si i tir mon portre”. This is the kind of danger people like Roger Mancienne and other opposition reporters face on a daily basis. The situation has gotten worst since the events of the 3rd of October at the National Assembly. Democracy and the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Third Republic is being steam-rolled further than what it was during the dictatorship of France Albert Rene.
Copyright 2006: Seychelles Weekly, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles