Guyana has no apologies for Nation of Islam minister’s arrest

A senior U..S Nation of Islam leader who was detained and then freed by Guyanese police for his alleged involvement in drug trafficking and international terrorism in May will get no official apology from authorities, the country’s head of state has said.

Minister Akbar Muhammad, a close associate of Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who was arrested and kept in a dirty police cell until investigators were satisfied that he was not involved in anything illegal.

Muhammad was arreteed while on a week-long visit to the South American country, headquarters of the 15-nation Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).

Police alleged that they had received information from the U.S. Central Ingelligence Agency that Muhammad,69, was linked to drug trafficking and terrorism.

Muhammad told reporters that police had questioned him extensively about opposition figures he had met and explained that they they had had absolutely no interest in allegations about trafficking and terrorism. Muhammad had been a visitor to the country since the 1970s.

He was of the firm opinion that he was arrested solely because he had friends in the opposition and that stories about the CIA calling ahead to Guyana were pure fabrications.

Jagdeo said Farrakhan had called him about Muhammad’s plight and “I assured him that we don’t lock up innocent people in this country but we have to go through a process.”

Jagdeo also gave a hint about a political tit-for-tat leading up to Muhammad’s arrest, arguing that American authorities also have in the past detained people wrongfully.

“If I had to request an apology from the U.S. govrnment for the number of people who were held wrongfully, it would never end,” Jagdeo said, adding that current Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Alli “is constantly hassled every time he travels through the U.S. because he has a Muslim name.

“We have written to the U.S. They don’t do anything about it. This is a sitting minister of the government,” he said, as he reiterated his administration’s intention not apologize for Muhammad’s arrest.

Muhammad has called for an official apology from government, saying that he was forced to spend hours in the filthy Central Police Station cell at Brickdam among common criminals even though he is elderly and even though there was no evidence to support his arrest.

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