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Irresponsible yes – sedition no

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Dec.1.06

EDITOR: So Chief Magistrate, Simone Churaman, ruled that the Green Party General Secretary is not guilty of sedition.

It was wholly irresponsible of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to bring this matter to court. This debacle has been a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and government’s time. Whilst many people in SVG exist in poverty, Mr Gonsalves seems to think that the best use of government funds is to bring futile cases to court against SVG citizens.{{more}} Is he really at such a loss as to solve SVG’s rising debt and economic stability problems that he thinks wasteful litigation is the best way forward?

It is the right of every child, woman and man in SVG to openly and publicly criticise any government – ULP, Green or NDP – and I wholeheartedly encourage all to do so if you feel like it.

In an article earlier this year I mentioned that “democracy and human rights are two of the most fundamental prerequisites for an endurable life and a sustainable development” and that “it is a thin line between a democratic and undemocratic nation, but when that line is crossed it may be hard to return”. Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman said that to rule that the words ‘blood would run in this country’ in the context in which it was used constitutes sedition, it would in the Court’s opinion be to strangle the doctrine of freedom of speech.

This ruling was a victory for every citizen of SVG – long live freedom of speech!

Chris Ward

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