Prime Ministerial Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party Civic, Elisabeth Harper has described as “regrettable and unfortunate”, statements made by Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsarran to slap and have women’s rights activist, Sherlina Nageer, stripped for interrupting his road side media interview.
In a statement on her Facebook page, Ms. Harper said while Ramsarran has acknowledged and apologised for the remarks, “as a woman, but more so a human being with conscience, I share the sentiments of many that this has revealed that we have to do much more to secure the full respect for the rights of our women particularly what women stand for and how they should be seen.”
She added that as Guyana progresses as a nation, she hopes that “all actions and utterances will be made with wisdom and respect for all.”
Ramsarran apologised on Tuesday evening for his verbal assault on the women’s rights activist as she questioned him about the state of the health sector and the number of maternal deaths.
He said the statements were “harsh words” and he apologised for them.
During the recording, Ramsarran could be heard calling Nageer an idiot after she interrupted his media interview. The two got into an exchange of words and the Health Minister called for police back up after he berated the activist.
As Nageer was being led away by the police, Ramsarran could be heard telling the reporters that “I would slap her ass you know just for the fun and I can have some of my women strip her”.
Nageer has been very outspoken about domestic violence and abuses against women for years. She has also been leading several protests against the government of Guyana over “poor health care” for women and attacks on freedom of speech.
Before she was removed from confronting the Health Minister, the activist chastised him for his record in office while she pointed to the many cases of maternal deaths. Ramsarran told the woman that there were less maternal deaths under his government than there was under the last administration 23 years ago.
As he tried to shut down Nageer, she continued to challenge him on his record and when she reminded him that taxpayers like her pay his salary, Ramsarran could be heard telling the woman to “eff off” as he called her a “piece of sh%t” and said she should not be interrupting his private interview on the roadside to two Berbice based reporters.