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Mary Francis Calls For Inequities In The Society To Be Addressed

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Attorney at Law and Human Rights advocate Mary Francis has urged the authorities to address societal inequalities and build strong institutions to protect human rights and fight crime.

Francis spoke ahead of Human Rights Day, observed on December 10.

The 2022 Theme of Human Rights Day is Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.

Francis, the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, declared that there will always be crime without justice.

In this regard, she spoke of the need to fix what she described as the broken court system in which the people have lost confidence.

According to the outspoken Human Rights campaigner, the theme for Human Rights Day represented a clarion call to address all societal inequities, including poverty.

She also spoke of the importance of addressing the needs for housing, health, access to justice, and freedom from fear caused by crime.

“Freedom of expression- people have a fear of speaking out against governments in Saint Lucia. Freedom from oppression of all kinds and justice for all – everyone should be equal before the law,” Francis told St Lucia Times.

She also reiterated calls for a government-funded National Human Rights Commission.

And in line with the Human Rights Day theme, she recommended unemployment benefits for at least six months from the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) for the many unemployed individuals.

“When you are unemployed, your human rights are affected – your right to health, to housing, to feed yourself,” Francis noted

She also expressed concern about the large remand population at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF).

Francis acknowledged that those individuals are accused of crimes and breaching the rights of others.

Nevertheless, she asserted that justice delayed is justice denied.

In addition, Francis encouraged Saint Lucians to get educated about human rights.

“People must stop thinking of castigating persons who advocate for human rights because human rights are about the rule of law, putting people first, and the development of people – they have to understand that,” she told St Lucia Times.

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. No Mary it’s not that people castigate those who advocate for human rights.

    The problem people have with you is, you always seem to advocate for criminals under the guise of human rights.

    You don’t provide solutions to problems or if you do it mostly come off as criticizing the authorities which make you seem less than an Allie.

    So may be you need to change your approach and stop trying to criticize the authorities. When you know good and well these criminals are participating in their own demise.

    A police got gun down some months ago, where were you. You were mute. But when the tables are turned who have all sorts of criticisms for the police that’s the problem.

    Me personally if am in charge, I put you on house arrest every time you open your mouth.

  2. Madame Francis,

    I do hope you read the comments here since you have posted your editorial on The Saint Lucia Times platform. Apologies for the long post but it’s necessary.

    I would like to believe that the vast majority of Saint Lucians are advocates of Human Rights and Justice, freedom of speech and general freedom for all. The issue arises when criminals who have acted in breach of the unwritten Societal Contract by which we all, by birth of being Saint Lucians citizens agree to. When criminals through their actions have taken the life of someone, whether the victim be innocent or another like minded criminal, the perpetrator has by his or her actions, broken the social contract that he/she has with society. And in breaking that unwritten contract which was signed by virtue of birth of being a Saint Lucian, he/she must face the consequences under the Law of Saint Lucia. Even more, the law must consider the consequences to the victim and the victim’s family in the case of Murder. I am of the persuasion that if someone commits murder and is found guilty due to the overwhelming, undisputed, undeniable proof that the perpetrator is guilty, he/she must pay the ultimate price and that is the price of forfeiture of life itself. A State has a Police Service which acts as a deterrent to citizens to commit crimes, a city streets have traffic lights to act as a deterrent to drivers from infringing on other road users…every institution or organisation has a deterrent which acts as a warning or guidance to others. Even so, a State needs a deterrent to deal with the most agregious of acts…that of Murder. Now , I am quite aware that there are various degrees of murder. However, I am addressing Murder in the first degree. In the case of first degree murder, the State should have the death penalty on its law books to act as a deterrent to criminals. Now the argument that the death penalty does not deter anyone is spurious at best. Criminals who commit first degree murder atleast know there is a great chance they will receive a life sentence for their actions. They are bundled away for 25-30yrs at the tax payers expense while the victims family are left with the broken pieces. And there is also a great chance that the convicted criminal be released after serving a considerable time of that sentence for so called good behaviour….and still the victim’s family is left broken by the loss of a loved one…the issue with this is if the death penalty Verdict was implemented within a reasonable time after the Convicted criminal had exhausted all his/her appeal then potential criminals would think twice before they murder someone… Convicted criminals should not be left on death row for 20-30 years before the sentence is implemented. That is the big issue to which the government is at fault.

    Therefore, the way forward should be this:

    – A special judicial system should be set up to deal with Murder so the Course of Justice is not hindered. That should also send a warning to potential criminals. JUSTICE IS SWIFT.

    – A crime of murder is committed, the investigation is initiated to determine the chain of events.

    – all evidence is brought before the Court and if after the trial the accused is found guilty of first degree murder due to the fact that the evidence is undeniable, undesputed and overwhelming, the death penalty should be pronounced. The convicted criminal now has a week or two to appeal. Once all appeals are exhausted, the Verdict should be implemented swiftly. I assure you, if Justice was as swift as it claims to be, criminals would think once not twice, to commit murder because they would be deterred by the fact that to be found guilty of first degree murder, their time on earth would be very short lived. The State would have achieved three objectives by this swift Justice.

    1) The good riddance of a convicted criminal who has broken the Societal Contract.

    2) The family would have atleast recourse to the fact that the convicted criminal has paid for he/her actions SWIFTLY even though it won’t bring their loved ones back.

    3) Other potential criminals would think once not twice, before breaching the Societal Contract for fear of the Law’s SWIFT JUSTICE. Criminals love life too. Pun intended.

    Too often the victim and the victim’s family appear to be second class citizens in this entire ordeal. Criminals deserve to treated fairly indeed but once the Law find the perpetrator guilty, the Law and it’s sentence must be carried out and swift.

    Now I am aware of the issue of the convicted criminal family’s wellbeing in all this, including the wider implications of carrying out a death sentence and it’s intended and unintended consequences to society. This is another factor to consider in all this which I won’t touch on here due to the length of my post.

    This is just my humble opinion on a debate that currently affects our entire Society at present, on the issue of crime. We should all value life but if someone is intent on not valuing the lives of others, they themselves don’t value their very own life.

  3. Re C–wize..
    What is your Solution to the problem?
    All complaints and no Solutions..
    I think the Opposition’s leader’s letter to our PM needs to be implemented in solving our Current mayhem situations..
    That’s my solution and I endorse it..
    I’m a mediator by profession..
    Let’s put our differences aside for now and start Fresh again.
    I would like to be the Mediator between the two Parties to solve our current problems..

  4. My people, we have watched crime escalate over the years.. all politicians have neglected the cries of our people. ORC was a mere speed bump to the so called criminals in this country. Now, we are left to deal with big guns and short tempers.

    No on should ex

  5. My people, we have watched crime escalate over the years.. all politicians have neglected the cries of our people. ORC was a mere speed bump to the so called criminals in this country. Now, we are left to deal with big guns and short tempers.

    No on should expect

  6. No one should expect any of our leaders to protect us. F**k Babylon and the system. I’m done.

  7. Aa how is my nic contribution you want to give to people that never pay a cent in their lives. …choops tan.

  8. STL – this is directed to the owner/s and or Managers of this Company.
    WHY IS MY E-MAIL ADDRESS SHOWN SO OPENLY ABOVE?
    I have nothing to hide but why do I deserve that? I have read where other
    people have complained; can you please get this fixed; thank you.

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