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Johnson Boston speaks at the protest meeting on 7 February 2017
Johnson Boston speaks at the protest meeting on 7 February 2017

First there was Sanford, now there is Boston and Isaac and Fontaine.

The lawsuits are certainly coming fast against the Government of Dominica who in February 2017 searched the homes and arrested a number of members of the opposition members for alleged "subversion."

Among those the police charged were former secretary general of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), Johnson Boston; United Workers Party (UWP) senator Dr. Thomson Fontaine and Roseau Central MP Joseph Isaac, who were arrested by the police, have now joined Claudius Sanford in filing civil lawsuits against the attorney general and the police for "wrongful arrest and imprisonment".

In suit 237 of 2017 filed on their behalf by attorney at law Gildon Richards, Boston, Isaac and Dr. Fontaine are claiming "general damages, aggravated and exemplary damages, cost and other reliefs as the Court deems appropriate".

Boston was part of a public meeting in Roseau on February 7 calling for the resignation of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit over the passport sales to foreigners.

Following the meeting violence engulfed Roseau and the police have argued the force has an obligation to investigate the matter and bring suspects in for questioning. Since then police officers have searched the homes of members of the DFP and UWP and arrested them on "suspicion of subversion."

The opposition politicians claim that the search of their homes was unlawful. They are also claiming "wrongful assault, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment." According to the particulars in the Statement of Claim the men suffered "grave mental, emotional and psychological stress."

It further stated that as General Secretary of the DFP, Boston suffered "great embarrassment in his community and this caused injury to his pride and dignity."

Boston was the third person that the police took into custody since the disturbances. Officers came to his home at 5:30am on February 17, 2017 ransacked and searched his home claiming they were looking for "documents."

Before him, Dr. Fontaine was picked up at the studios of Q95 radio on February 12, 2017. As a result, he said, he suffered "grave mental, emotional and psychological stress" and there was "injury to his status, pride and dignity." The situation he said was "embarrassing."

On February 20, 2017, the police visited Roseau Central MP Isaac in the early hours of the morning dressed in camouflage military uniforms and armed with guns; they searched Isaac's home and arrested him on "suspicion of subversion." The police questioned the Member of Parliament for four hours at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at Police Headquarters.

Boston said the arrests were "politically motivated to suppress democracy, to frighten people, to prevent them from coming out and express their views."


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