Headline — 13 April 2017 — by Micah Goodin
Alvarine Burgess alleges unlawful detention

She said Cabinet Minister requested that she be detained for the night

BELMOPAN, Cayo District, Tues. Apr. 11, 2017–Whistleblower Alvarine Burgess was detained at the Belmopan Police Station on Saturday night by cops who she said received instructions from a senior ruling politician.

Burgess, a football enthusiast, revealed that she was at a football match on Saturday night as the Belmopan Bandits played against a team from Punta Gorda.

According to Burgess, sometime around 8:00 p.m., while the anthem was being played, she observed some young men behaving disorderly. She thought to herself that after the anthem was over, she would scold them.

She was cheering for her Punta Gorda team when a male police officer walked up to her and ordered her to stop the noise. She told the police officer that she was cheering on her team, just as other fans were doing.

The officer reportedly walked back to his post, about 20 feet away, when one of three female United Democratic Party campaigners in Belmopan began to verbally assault Burgess.

Burgess told us that she asked the woman what was the problem, and that was when the woman asked if she, Burgess, “wanted to set it up.”

Burgess agreed to the challenge, but by the time the woman approached Burgess, the same cop had returned requesting that she leave the game.

Burgess told Amandala that she asked the policeman not to treat her roughly, so the officer subsequently radioed three female officers, who escorted her out of the compound.

While outside, one of the women received a telephone call and thereafter told Burgess that she was being escorted to the Belmopan Police Station.

When Burgess reached the station, she was informed by another cop that a Cabinet Minister had requested that she be detained for the night.

She was detained by 8:45 that night and released at 9:00 a.m. the following morning.

Burgess, who spent almost 12 hours in lockdown, told Amandala: “I left that station that morning without even knowing what I was detained for, without any explanation as to why I was there or nothing of that sort.”

Today, Tuesday, she retained the services of attorney-at-law, Kareem Musa.

She revealed to our newspaper that Musa has written a letter to the arresting officers and the Police Department requesting compensation and an apology.

If there is no response to the letter, Burgess told us, she and her lawyer will consider their options.

She told us that she will not back down.

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