Repeal Sedition Provision of CYBERCRIME BILL

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

BROOKLYN: Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government’s proposed Cybercrime Bill that is currently being considered by Parliament has been greeted with disapproval by the New York based Caribbean democracy watchdog group, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID). In an interview Tuesday with Nelson King of the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), the Institute’s President, Rickford Burke, a Guyanese, said he is astonished by the proposed legislation, which he described as “unconstitutional and an offensive infringement on free speech.”

Section 18 (1) (a) of the Bill makes it a crime of sedition punishable by five years in prison, if a person whether in or out of Guyana, “intentionally publishes, transmits or circulates by use of a computer system or any other means, a statement or words, either spoken or written, a text, video, image, sign, visible representation, or other thing, that brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in Guyana.”

Burke said this section of the proposed law is intended to “suppress criticism of the government and as such is repugnant to democratic norms of a free and open society.” Moreover, he blasted the international reach of the legislation as “repugnant to international law and a silly overreach outside of the jurisdiction of the Guyana government that is unenforceable and therefore bad law.”

He also said the Bill is an assault on the Caricom Charter of Civil Society to which Guyana is a signatory. The Charter was enacted in the Region on February 19, 1997 by regional Heads of Government in St. Johns Antigua. It binds Caricom Member States to the ideals of a free press, open democratic process and respect for civil, political, cultural, economic and other rights.

“This provision of the legislation is a breeding ground for despotism. CGID therefore calls on the government of Guyana to strike it from the Bill; or it will be an indelible black stain on the government which has a healthy record on good governance thus far,” the Institute’s President posited.

Burke said it is inconceivable and perplexing that the government has proposed legislation that severely undermines democracy, and which will inflict gaping, self-destructive political wounds; especially since its political leaders were champions of democracy when they were in opposition.

He asserted that he would expect such repressive legislation from the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He said that the PPP, while in government from 1992 to 2015, ran a brutally oppressive and ethnocratic regime that suppressed free speech and the rights of minorities while using the allegation of sedition to imprison several critics.

Burke said that although the PPP is now feigning innocence, its Members of Parliament made significant contributions to the construction of the abhorrent legislation during the Select Committee process in Parliament. He labeled the PPP’s subscription to the Bill as “disgraceful and unpatriotic.

4 comments

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    All of these governments want to be dictators, it cannot be allowed, dictators are supposed to he hung from the highest trees by their necks until the stop breathing

    ….. or dragged to the Hague for human rights abuses so that they can be exiled away from the country they target for dictatorship or imprisoned for life in some hole in the ground somewhere..

    Do not allow the dictator tendencies of these backward corrupt fools and jackasses to take hold in the Caribbean, make sure one or two of them are made an example of and put all the other wannabe dictators in check..permanently.

    We should not even have to be discussing dictators in 2018.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ WELL Well and Consequences

    Imagine that an article of this nature and profundity posted and it only attracted your one comments!

    De ole man is inclined to believe that it is because is has its genesis in Guyana dat we BAJANS ent want nuffin to do wid dem banner!

    The thing about this template is that it forms the basis upon which fellows like Magistrate Graveney can walk about the country confident that there will come a time when the recording of police and police brutality or belligerence will be a crime punishable by incarceration

    Dis is why de ole man does call we BAJANS small island 2×4 dwellers who will drive into de Atlantic ocean if you drive 30 minutes in one direction

    Our world is an insular prison defined by interactions with others of a backward people who relish in a literacy statistic that has only kept out people imprisoned in a mental coffin of misguided concepts.

    We fool ourselves of our brilliance and comprehension skills and find annual solace in the HDI publications of the Unitrd Nations Development Programme which we guard like a holy grail

    But we woyld be well advised to watch its propagation in our Caribbean archipelago and guard against Waveney et al getting it enacted here

    But I forget how slit eyed Nitwit Brafwit done get a feller lock up get de same law heah a few months afore…

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @The Honourable Blogmaster

    Please retrieve my suspense comment on this item thanks (this VPN DOES NOT “forgive”)

    Like

  • Those who are embedded has to tow the line,
    watch! 200,000 indictments world wide will end the mission…the future proves past.
    Five Eyes, building in china, Apple…Cloud
    SpaceX, Lower orbit Satellite, shot downs.
    5G.Dangerous.
    Attempt cover tracks

    Slit Eyes… roger that!

    Who has something to hide?
    What is there to hide?

    When the world wakes up to the hatchlings of Global agendas not in our best interest, the prison planet becomes liberated.

    Like

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