T&T worried about social media posts aimed at destabilising country

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says several unidentified posts on social media in recent times are “clearly designed and geared toward instability, panic, and efforts to de-stabilise our democracy”.

In a statement, Griffith said that he has observed the increase in the number of voice notes, anonymous videos, and social media posts using pseudonyms.

“These voice notes and posts appear to incite and encourage the public at large to protest, riot, and rise up against the police and State institutions,” Griffith said, adding that “such conduct ought not to go unabated”.

He is calling on the public to assist in identifying who these individuals and groups are, in an effort to bring these persons to justice.

Griffith said that the Sedition Act states that a person is guilty of an offence who does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act with a seditious intention.

The legislation, he said, also makes it an offence to communicates any statement having a seditious intention as well as publishes, sells, offers for sale or distributes any seditious publication.

A person guilty of an offence under the legislation is liable on summary conviction to a fine of TT$3,000 and to imprisonment for two years; or on conviction on indictment to a fine of TT$20,000 and to imprisonment for five years.

Griffith also indicated that under the Summary Offences Act it is an offence to send any message by telephone which is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene, or menacing character; as well as sending any message by telephone, or any telegram, which the person knows to be false.

Griffith is urging people with “legitimate information” regarding those engaged in these criminal offences to contact the police.

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