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Mary Francis Calls For A National Human Rights Organisation

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In observance of International Human Rights Day on Sunday, Human Rights Advocate Mary Francis has asserted that guarantees of civil and political rights in Saint Lucia are merely rights on paper.

The outspoken Attorney at Law explained that the avenue for getting redress when the state breaches those rights is limited.

The National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Director stated that most people at the lower economic end do not have the means to go to court.

As a result, Francis has called for for a national human rights organisation that the government could fund.

She explained that the organisation could be a coordinating body.

“That organisation could do research to ensure our laws are in line with the constitutional provisions for human rights and international conventions that we have signed,” Francis told St. Lucia Times.

She also said the organisation could receive petitions from individuals whose rights have been breached.

Francis believed it was time for the government to establish such a human rights body, noting that the United Nations had called on Saint Lucia to do so.

In addition, she reiterated a call to the government to address the state’s ‘grave human rights violations’ regarding the police killings that occurred during Operation Restore Confidence.

Five men, dubbed the Vieux Fort Five, were among those who succumbed to police shootings.

The men sustained gunshot injuries during a police operation in Vieux Fort in May 2011.

“The Vieux Fort Five, the inquest stands, the verdict was unlawful killing,” Francis noted.

She said that based on her information, the Director of Public Prosecutions had done his best and advised the police to prosecute.

As a result, Francis called on the authorities to bring the matter before the court to effect closure.

“The state has to account for life,” the Human Rights Advocate declared.

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Mary Francis, your office is not hindered from representing those with inadequate funds pro bono. It is a practice that is carried out in many countries. It would be better to stop talking and start doing. You should also encourage the government especially the DPP to hold those lawyers who charge exorbitant fees to their clients without giving them any representations whatsoever. This is crookry to the highest order.

    The 2.5% health and Security levy should be encouraged and reinforced knowing that the funds will go towards universal healthcare to those whom you are giving lip service to and to curb the merciless and brutal homicide committed by the blackheart idiots. Our social problems must be dealt with holistically and not cherry-pick what’s convenient to fit our political persuasions. A better St. Lucia benefits all St. Lucians.

  2. Just “moreney” you want. Your five clients were scumbags about to pull a murderous heist. Evidently, everyone knows it except you. They got smoked like mackerels. You don’t show any regard for their numerous victims. Where are their victims rights? You eh letting that case go, because you tink you will score big. Thank God no innocent person was killed on that day. Go, there will be no cash today. You eh see Lucians crying and demonstrating in the streets for your malevolent clients. Take a free observation from me, nobody cares about your scum. Trying to make those criminals look like acolytes. smh
    You remind me of those American TV Evangelists running a hustle.

    What about noise pollution that’s affecting St. Lucians health? Do something worthwhile that would save at least one life.

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