Talk Show Host Arrested After Lashing out at Government Official

Guyanese talk show host Gavin Matthews was arrested on April 29 for allegedly criticizing Charles Ramson Jr., Guyana's Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sport, during an episode of his Facebook show. Matthews was arrested during a protest at the Square of the Revolution in the country's capital city Georgetown. The arrest happened while Matthews was broadcasting another episode of The Gavin Matthews Show live, so his viewers saw the entire arrest until he was told to end the live stream at the police station. Matthews was released on $100,000 station bail, reports the Stabroek News.

In the video, officers from the Guyana Police Force and the Criminal Investigation Department told Matthews he was accused of publishing a video on March 25 on Facebook that was "derogatory with intent to humiliate and embarrass or cause emotional distress to Charles Ramson Jr." Matthews told officers he didn't know "of such" a video. Police then took custody of the host and told him he would be taken to a nearby police station.

Matthews kept the live stream going, even as he was taken to the police station. He told his viewers everything that was happening, adding that he is not friends with Ramson. He called his arrest an attempt to "shut me up." When he arrived at the station, he was told to stop the broadcast before he was interrogated. At first, Matthews protested, but he did eventually stop the video. Police later told reporters Matthews was released on $100,000 bail.

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The March 25 video that led to Matthews' arrest was titled "You are still de facto and if you want to do something about it just resign," reports Stabroek News. In the video, Matthews criticized the ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) party and Ramson's connection to the party. Matthews uses his Facebook show to criticize the PPP/C's policies. In early April, he claimed he was abducted because of his show's content. Since his release on bail, Matthews has continued sharing videos on Facebook.