Attorney at Law Mary Francis has defended her record as a human rights advocate, in response to critics whom she says are insinuating that she has gone silent now.
She asserted that under the current State of Emergency, people are now beginning to see the importance of human rights.
“The shoe is on the other foot,” Francis declared.
The outspoken Attorney at Law declared that Saint Lucians seem to be people with short memories.
Francis recalled that she has been fully involved in human rights activities – fighting matters in the courts from about 1998 and continuing.
She went into detail regarding the many interventions she has made over the years on behalf of persons whose human rights were violated.
“Some of the voices I hear speaking out today and talking, they have never once seemed to say a word in support of the work I have been doing,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
She disclosed that she has been made to feel like an outcast over the years.
“I have spoken in and out of season and I got blows all along,” she stated.
According to Francis, she has been criticized as being against the United Workers Party and also against the Saint Lucia Labour Party which is now in opposition.
“I have been laughed at, I have been treated with derision by the police, by citizens walking the streets and so forth,” Francis lamented.
“They must realise that all human beings are entitled to the same human rights they are now calling for which have been suspended under the state of emergency,” she observed.
“They would say I am supporting criminals, but in standing up for one person, you are standing up for all under the constitution because all persons, whether or not they have been in conflict with the law, are entitled to fundamental rights under the constitution, “ Francis, who is also Coordinator for the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights asserted.
“I have been preaching that all along and now it is just coming home in a very vivid manner to the persons who are out there trying to challenge the State of Emergency and they are trying to insinuate that persons in civil society and human rights are silent,” she told St Lucia Times.