Massive spying operation uncovered in Dominica
@ 9:30 a.m.
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) - Dominicans are reeling from news that the government of Dominica through the National Joint Intelligence Committee (NJIC) has been discretely spying on the activities and actions of several Dominicans over the last few months.
A spy network called the National Joint Intelligence Committee is keeping close tabs on Dominican residents.
The NJIC is a secret outfit allegedly set up by the authorities, and comprising of security officers of the Dominica Police Force. It is said to be headquartered at the sixth floor of the Financial Services Building in Roseau.
News of the spying came after Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan inadvertently released a report he received from the NIJC concerning the meetings held by opposition groups at the beginning of the year.
The reports give detailed information on the discussions held in decidedly private meetings, the persons who attended and their views concerning the government. These reports are at once chilling and revealing. The authors of the report underlined the need to continue to closely monitor the actions and meetings of those they considered to be in opposition to the government.
On a personal level these latest revelations are deeply distressing. Several meetings in which I took part and which were believed to be private have been made public. Beyond that, I must face the very dark prospect that a government finds it fitting to unleash its spies on private citizens who are simply going about their business and trying to work towards a better Dominica.
In April, 2009, several hundred Dominicans converged on Brooklyn, New York to express their concern about the state of governance in the country. Pernel Jno Baptiste, a Police officer in the Dominica Police Force, and unknown to the organizers was sent from Dominica to record the proceedings and to file a report directly to the Prime Minister of Dominica.
Many were led to believe that this was an isolated incident. We now know that the NJIC is using sophisticated listening and tracking devices to keep tabs on Dominican citizens by listening to their telephone conversations and tracking their email exchanges.
These revelations should not be taken lightly or dismissed. It reflects the actions of an increasingly paranoid administration, which fears that its grip on power in Dominica will soon come to an end.
In such an environment, there is a very real possibility for all sorts of unfortunate occurrences, and the general public should be careful to exercise extreme caution given the deteriorated state of governance in a once proud country.