Attorney at Law Mary Francis has reiterated a call for establishing a Human Rights Commission in Saint Lucia while expressing disappointment that the budget policy statement did not mention it.
“I heard nothing about a Human Rights Commission in the budget policy address,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
“It is time that we get a Human Rights Commission established under the auspices of the government of Saint Lucia,” the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Coordinator declared.
In this regard, Francis asserted that people must have avenues for justice and reparations.
She noted that the state could not abuse someone’s rights, and the victim must find the money for a legal defence after that.
Francis disclosed that she was dealing with an ongoing matter involving the Micoud police station and one of her clients.
According to Francis, her client has been the victim of police bias over the past ten years.
“What took place between Sunday and Thursday at the station, I was in talks with police officers there, he was released and they almost made it impossible for him to get bail on charges which to me should not have been laid against him at all,” the outspoken Attorney at Law said.
“He was not the aggressor, the police officer was the aggressor,” Francis stated.
“Those things disturb me tremendously,” she told St Lucia Times.
In addition, Francis observed that the situation had stayed the same in the twenty-five years since she formed her organisation.
She said over the years she has been concerned about irregularities and abuse of power at the Micoud station.
She declared that the police face no sanctions and operate with impunity.
“I am saying we are fighting crime. At the higher level, we have to ensure that things are alright, and we have to reevaluate the state’s role. Why should the state have privileges above the citizens when you have fundamental rights in the constitution?” Francis said.
By way of example, she pointed to the mediation process in the justice system.
Francis questioned why the state could not be subject to mediation when the Attorney General is a defendant.
“We saw it in the case of Dr. Ernest Hilaire, the Minister. Why can’t it be extended to other citizens?” She stated.
Francis declared that all such ‘contradictions’ must be resolved if the authorities want to fight crime because citizens are witnessing an unjust state.
The Attorney at Law acknowledged that people need the police, but at the same time suffer injustice at the hands of some officers.
Mary Mary quite contrary; never know what you’re talking about; ‘the Police is wrong, you are right, everybody is wrong except you’ but sweetheart life is sometime a bit upside down, so why do the bad guys when arrested get Bail so quickly? are you the contact they call first? don’t complain, they get it good after Bail – boss man sends them back on the road doing what they’re told to do – “steal, kill and destroy” – and to repeat, repeat & repeat again till one day somebody gets killed. Frankly I feel sorry for these poor souls; no life, low life, no future, no opportunity, no nothing at all; who can/will save them – Only GOD knows.
Ayay! Micoud Police Station is St. Lucia’s Guantanamo. Straight out of the US playbook. We couldn’t have had a better model. Wait! Aren’t we supposed to copy the US?
Mary wants a piece of the pie like everyone else .
Good on you Mary for consistently pointing our failure as a country to ensure accountability and redress when human rights are transgressed.
It is a thankless task, a continued ridicule by many who have not experienced their rights being transgressed and therefore things there is no use for the services and protections you advocate.
However, their cries will be to late when they become victims of their own conscious decisions to tread and endorse to contined state of affairs that we call justice in fair helen.
I’m hearing all sorts of things about a particular minister in parliament, we all know a that he has a big mouth, yes I know . Ppl are quick to call him a criminal. Whenever he opens his mouth we are quick to come get him . What’s about this one talking?? The boldface one ??? Is it because she is a woman ? Is it because she is a bald head ?? Or mother of criminals ??? .
I agree with you in terms of protecting individuals fundamental constitutional rights even when they commit the most heinous crimes. However, there should be some clear legal guides for setting bail. An offender with repeated felony violations and posing a threat to the community should not be out on bail. In terms of fairness, the reality is the law has not always been fair. People with power and money who can afford high power attorneys get a different justice. At this critical time of increase in gun violence and illegal guns, the government needs to apply every legal means at their disposal to protect the citizenry. I don’t think the budget speech is the the place for announcement of Human Rights Commission.
Think you would do well in Haiti my lady. They need somebody like you there.