Chris Must List's family calls for protests – Sedition charge for vlogger

CHARGED: Canadian vlogger Chris Must List (Christopher Hughes) who has been charged with one count of sedition  relating to YouTube videos he posted of interviews done with alleged gangsters. This photo was posted to his Facebook page.  -
CHARGED: Canadian vlogger Chris Must List (Christopher Hughes) who has been charged with one count of sedition relating to YouTube videos he posted of interviews done with alleged gangsters. This photo was posted to his Facebook page. -

CANADIAN YouTuber vlogger Christopher “Chris Must List” Hughes is expected to face a Master of the High Court on June 3 to answer a charge of publishing a statement with seditious intention.

He was charged on May 29 under the Sedition Act and, if convicted, faces up to two years in prison.

Officers of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested the 45–year-old travel vlogger on May 28. As of Thursday, he was detained at the Besson St Police Station. Criston J Williams, one of Hughes' attorneys, was seeking station bail.

The police issued a statement on Thursday titled: YouTuber on TTPS Naughty List Charged Under Sedition Act.

“The investigation into Christopher Arthur Hughes began after his social media activities under the pseudonym ‘Chris Must List’ came to light,” the release said.

“Hughes allegedly posted videos featuring individuals professing to be gang members, advocating criminal activities, and using threatening language.

“Hughes was detained, interviewed, and informed of the allegations against him. After consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Roger Gaspard, SC, he directed detectives to charge the accused under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act.”

Contacted for comment, attorney Williams said Hughes’ detention was extended under the Immigration Act before he was finally charged under section 4 (1)(c) of the Sedition Act.
“The (first) charge couldn’t stick,” Williams said.

“Who in TT has been convicted of being a gang leader or a gang member?” Williams asked, adding that police would have had to arrest someone in a gang to make any case against Hughes.

“You want to accuse this man…of promoting sedition, but you can’t get him on gang charges?"

A charge under the Immigration Act could not have stuck either, Williams said, because an immigration officer has to be involved in the detention.

“No immigration officer was involved in Chris’ detention, nor to date can they show that any immigration officer interviewed him.”

Charges of sedition, Williams claimed, are brought about when “government wants to shut people up.”

He said the sedition charge, too, would not stick, since there was “no intention to incite violence or disorder,” referring to a 2023 Privy Council judgment in the case between the Attorney General and Vijay Maharaj, who was charged with sedition.

Hughes, in a voice note to Williams on the second day of his detention, said he felt his arrest was politically motivated.

“I am loved by this country; I want to keep it that way,” Hughes said. “I have done nothing wrong.

"It seems like a political ploy for some reason. Someone in the government is upset.”

Williams told Newsday police called him on the second day of Hughes’ detention saying he needed to be present while they interviewed Hughes.

However, Williams said he was initially prohibited from speaking alone with his client before being told by a “Mr Lee” at the SIU that he had two minutes to speak with Hughes.

Williams said Hughes was not told that he had been present earlier and that clothes had been provided for him to shower and change.

Williams said he went to the police station the day Hughes was detained under the Anti-Gang Act and was told Hughes was neither under arrest nor able to leave.

Williams said he also asked an officer attached to the SIU to identify himself, but was ignored.

He said it is now the “police’s operational model.

“They always ask people to come in to assist them, but you’re not free to leave.”

He said Global Affairs Canada – a body that deals with the country’s diplomatic and consular relations and sometimes provides humanitarian assistance – has called him twice and wants to know, “What the hell is going on in TT?” He said he would book Hughes’ departure tickets as soon as he was released on the condition that he “don’t bad-talk Trinidad.”

'Protest outside police station'

People purporting to be Hughes' family have called for the TT public to “protest and come together to draw attention to the front of the station to release (Hughes).”

A message on Hughes' YouTube page read, “This announcement is from Chris’ family. Chris Must List has been held by police in Trinidad (Port of Spain) since May 28 and is not being released. They have no reason to hold him, they do not allow a lawyer present during questioning whatsoever, and have his hands locked throughout this time.

“They want to keep him for another four days or more which they have no reason to. We’ve been in touch with a lawyer in Trinidad who is to represent him but they are not giving him the opportunity to have him present to assist Chris further. Global Affairs is also aware and involved but the Trinidad police are still not budging.

“We are to make as much international noise as possible to have him released as he is being held unlawfully and without basic rights! Please share and make it known that Chris Must List must be released immediately!” the post read.

“If you are in Trinidad, he is being held in the police station at Port of Spain.”

When Newsday's checked Hughes' Facebook page on May 30, all posts in relation to his visit and time in Trinidad had been removed. YouTube also removed Hughes' videos of him interviewing Trinidad gang members.

Notable people charged with sedition include deceased Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr and former policeman and sometime acting government senator Michael Seales. Bakr's sedition trial ended in a hung jury and Seales' case was thrown out at the magistrates court.


"Chris Must List’s family calls for protests – Sedition charge for vlogger"

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