The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Tuesday reiterated its concern over the controversial COVID-19 Prevention & Control Bill, as it noted that a section of the measure had been removed.
The SLP noted the removal of the section in a post on the party’s official Facebook page.
The post is reproduced below:
At 4:55 p.m. Section 62 of the COVID-19 ( Prevention & Control) Bill was removed from the SoE 2.0 Bill. This section read as follows:
Publication of false statements.
62. A person shall not publish or cause to be published, posted or re-posted over a media platform inclusive of social media, any purported news or report, or purported statement of fact, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that the news, report or statement –
(a) is untrue or false; and
(b) may incite public fear, panic or ethnic hatred
This section was an attempt at censorship of the citizenry and should have never have been a part of the bill, along with other controversial sections which are still included.
The Saint Lucia Labour demands that this draconian bill be deferred and circulated for wide public consultation.
An SoE can only be used for 1 year. This COVID-19 (Prevention & Control) Bill which it replaces will be in effect for 2 years.
The Saint Lucia Bar Association and the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Authority have called for consultation on the bill whilst citizens express outrage via the media.
This Government needs to listen to the people and defer the bill which is slated to go through all its readings in one night.