October 21, 2019

Peter Binose: New gag laws in SVG

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190ops.nondenunciation.PakuDaoustCloutier.WebEdit_375_300_90By Peter Binose

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, set to pass Law designed to gag the media on practiced filth.

A law presented in Parliament on Tuesday 31 May 2016 proposes makes it illegal
for persons to place certain images and words on social media.

The Bill provides for the prosecution in relation to persons at home and abroad using social media to place pornographic photos or words of a sexual insult of persons and anyone found guilty can be fined and jailed for a considerable time. [not yet enacted so not yet enforceable]

Fines amounting to $100,000 and upwards can be applied, General secretary of the ULP, Julian Francis, says that he welcomes such a law, stating that persons have been abusing social media.

Francis also noted that Vincentians abroad are not immune from prosecution, since the law allows for the government to have such persons extradited for prosecution.

What Julian Francis is ignorant of is a crime carried on outside the jurisdiction by a non national is not subject to any Vincentian law and no other countries except countries would oblige this **** regime by granting an extradition order.

This may grossly affect Vincentian media like the newspapers and social media sites such as I-Witness and other local media sites as it effectually gags them. Those located in other countries will be difficult if not impossible to gag.

I want to ask if is this an attempt to censure, stifle, suppress and gag writers and media from displaying pictures of Gonsalves in advance of an unknown set of pictures of him about to circulate from being displayed on the internet?

We have all heard the telephone sex tapes which are said to contain the voice of Dr Salt. But it’s the pictures that they want to suppress. Why? Because each picture is worth a thousand words compared to a telephone w***athon.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M6srGpivb8

In Venezuela it is a crime to offend “in writing, speech, images photographic, drawn or sketched or by any other means” the elected or acting president. It includes anything that the president himself finds offensive. I am quite sure those laws have been an envy to Gonsalves and now he has his very own gag method.

Under Articles 148 and 149 of the Venezuelan Criminal Code, people can be imprisoned for insulting “by speech or in writing or images” the president, the vice-president, the president of the legislature, the chief justice, and numerous other government officials, or by showing them “lack of respect in any other way.” Article 150 prohibits anyone from insulting the legislature, the judiciary or the cabinet.

The higher the rank of the offended party, the stiffer the sentence: anyone who insults the president publicly can be jailed for up to three years and three months.
The danger is that this act can be abused by a **** government like the ULP Government in SVG. It is also an attempt to gag the press, internet and social media.

Other articles of this Criminal Code give special protection to legislators and public servants, including the police, from certain offensive criticism.

Article 13 of the American Convention on states that propaganda for war and advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred shall be punishable by law. But it also expressly prohibits prior censorship, establishing that those who violate lawful restrictions on expression be held responsible by law only after the event.

In 1995 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights published a report on insult laws that concluded that “the special protection desacato laws afford public functionaries from insulting or offensive criticism is not congruent with the objective of a democratic society to foster public debate.”

countries, including Argentina, , Costa Rica and Peru, have followed the Commission’s recommendations and removed such provisions from their statute books. The Venezuelan Supreme Court, however, took pains to point out that it did not have to follow the Commission’s recommendations.

It bodes ill for Vincentian democracy that the courts now will have to view these actions spoken or photographic and a vibrant public debate as a possible threat to public order and insult to person or persons. Freedom of expression and exposure of indecent filth by public officials is a vital guarantor of a functioning democracy.

There is so much on the social media about PM Ralph Gonsalves, facebook, twitter and blog sites that he is now trying to close the dam of criticism and actual exposure against him. He apparently finds it distressing more so perhaps if any of what is posted is true.

Peter Binose.

END

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