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Jan 11, 2018

Police Sooth Ahmad Family but Who Are Giving ‘Special’ Units Orders?

Fareed Ahmad

It has been two weeks since well-known barber Fareed Ahmad was shot and killed near his home in Hattieville.  Despite the arrest and subsequent arraignment of a woman police constable on a single charge of murder, there are many unanswered questions that have left the Ahmad family discontent with the Belize Police Department.  The committal to custody of twenty-four-year-old Michelle Brown, after appearing before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer, is little comfort to the grieving family which has openly expressed a lack of confidence in law enforcement, as well as the criminal justice system.  Today, the indigenous Muslim community in Belize, led by Imam Kaleem El Amin, stood in solidarity with Abdus Ahmad and his children as they met with Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Elrington and the brass of the police department.  The lengthy meeting was held at the Masjid Alfalah on Central American Boulevard where questions were put to government officials in respect of the ongoing investigation.  As he has done previously, Minister Elrington gave assurances that WPC Brown acted alone in the commission of Fareed’s murder.  He also reassured the community that despite a widely held notion that a group of rogue officers may be operating outside of the ambit of the police department, that no stones will be left unturned in solving the December twenty-eighth murder.


Nuri Muhammad

Nuri Muhammad, Spokesperson for Ahmad Family

“There’s a high level of anxiety.  In fact, we are still not over the death and the tragic murder of Fareed.  So that was really the background that drove the community to say let us sit down and find out really what the facts are because there were many rumors out there and things that caused alarms to go off.  And many of them, you already know in the media, were very hard to explain.  In fact, even today some of the matters are still not clearly explained.  So the impetus for inviting Minister Elrington and Minister Aragon, the Commissioner of Police and the other high command is because we felt that it was necessary as the largest indigenous Muslim community here it is our responsibility to sit down as civil individuals with the government of the day and find out from them what is going on, as opposed to depending on rumors and gossip.”



“So going forward, is the local community satisfied up to this point that the state and the police department is being open and transparent?”


Michelle Brown

Nuri Muhammad

“Certainly the statements made today by Minister Elrington brought a bit of cool, if I could use that term, cool water, into the atmosphere that was very hot and hostile when the meeting started.  And I think it was because of some of the examples that he gave is the fact that there are units within the security department that really does not answer to even the minister.  There are, I don’t want to use the term rogue because these individual units apparently believe that they have the go ahead of some higher authority.  If it is not the Prime Minister, if it is not the Minister of National Security then I don’t know who exactly is giving the orders.”

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