Propose sedition clause is weapon to silence critics

first_imgDear Editor,The proposed sedition clause in the Cyber Crimes Bill does not adequately protect the right to freedom of expression granted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is far too broad to meet the international standards for restrictions on freedom of expression under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the clause does not serve a legitimate purpose and stifled debate on matters of public interest.Freedom of speech is now seen as the touchstone of democracy and the ability of individuals to criticise the State is crucial to maintain freedom. Many commonwealth countries that had sedition laws either replaced it or abolished it to revamp their constitutional system.On August 25, 2010, the Republic of Uganda abolished the sedition laws; Kenya repealed their sedition laws; in October 24, 2007, New Zealand repealed the Crime Act 1961 after many criticised the laws as it hindered freedom of speech and expression against the State; in 2005, the Australian Government introduced the Anti-Terrorism Bill which included more protection for the media and leeway for freedom of expression; the United Kingdom also replaced the sedition laws to ensure freedom of expression.While many countries are trying to protect democracy, it is evident that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government in 2018, a modernised era, is implementing laws that would ensure that there would be no criticism of this Government.Imagine, when the AFC and the APNU were in Opposition, the never stopped criticising the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government, especially Moses Nagamootoo, Khemraj Ramjattan, David Granger and others.I want to join in condemnation of the APNU/AFC coalition Government’s implementation of the sedition clause that denies freedom of expression and urge that Government remove the proposed clause before the passing of the Cyber Crimes Bill.Respectfully,Zamal HussainRegional CouncillorRegional DemocraticCouncilRegion Sixlast_img read more