PM says teen who issued threats should not be punished

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says a 14-year-old girl who posted a verbally obscene and threatening video about her on the Internet should not be punished and she would like to meet with her to find out why she did it.

Following a call by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to turn herself in, the girl walked into a police station on Tuesday, accompanied by her parents. She was allowed to leave after giving the authorities a report.

Last week the teen, under the online alias ‘Granny Quilla’, made a video that she first posted on YouTube and then Facebook, in which she issued death threats, used obscene language and made racist remarks to Persad-Bissessar over the declaration of a State of Emergency in the country and curfew restrictions in some areas. Among her comments were that a sniper would shoot the Prime Minister and “leave no evidence”.

“I saw in the newspaper that there is a 14- or a 15-year-old girl, it is alleged that she made some abusive remarks about me on Facebook and the AG (Attorney General) had talked about it, and said it was in the hands of the police and the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions),” Persad-Bissessar said on Monday, prior to the girl turning herself in.

“And then I’m reading today that this young girl has apologized on Facebook. And I would like to say that I am a mother and a grandmother and this is a teenager, this is a child and I am sure you will agree with me when we say that I should meet her, that I should accept her apologies.

“And we should find out why, as a young girl, she felt it necessary to do such a thing. I am not of the view in the circumstances that she should be punished in any way. I think first we should talk with her and see what help we can be, all these things are possible.”

In a subsequent video that was posted on Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s Facebook page, the teenager apologized for her comments, saying that she made the video “for fun” and did not mean any harm.

Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs said the matter is under investigation.

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