Categorized | National News

FNM Chairman Complains To Amnesty International

Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash penned and submitted a document to a major human rights watchdog, outlining “the violation of my family’s human rights” and is calling for a “whistleblower protection act” to be introduced.

On Sunday the FNM chairman emailed a copy of the 10-page document titled, “Democracy is under assault in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas: A Narrative by Darron B. Cash” which he said has been submitted to the International Secretariat of Amnesty International.

The document highlights last month’s drama that saw the Opposition chairman’s home searched and a number of his personal items seized as part of an ongoing investigation into confidential information being leaked from The Bank of The Bahamas (BOB).

“Democracy is under assault in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and it is time that the international community learns the truth about the extent to which our democracy has regressed since May 7, 2012,” he wrote to Amnesty International. “In taking this extraordinary step it is my hope that the bright hot spotlight of independent observers can be directed on the Progressive Liberal Party Government led by the Rt. Honourable Perry G. Christie so that maybe, just maybe, the glare of the international community might become an added force for good in helping the Bahamian people to stop this undemocratic regime’s assault on our democracy.

“I am taking this significant step of bringing the issues and concerns enumerated below to the attention of the international community because, sadly, I am not confident that I can expect due process from the agencies of our government that are presently involved. More specifically, I am concerned about the health and independence of several of our key institutions which I believe have been influenced and remain severely tainted by the heavy hand of political interference. The compromised state of our institutions—especially the top levels of the Royal Bahamas Police Force—is feared to be so great that many of us in the political opposition wonder whether we can expect justice and fair play in our own country.”

Mr. Cash then went on to explain in detail how The Punch tabloid had for months been seeking to expose alleged corruption within the BOB.
Mr. Cash’s wife is an employee at the bank.
“Almost immediately after The Punch stories began to appear I, as national chairman of the country’s Official Opposition The Free National Movement, began to call for full investigations into The Punch’s allegations,” he wrote. “This newspaper’s published stories were very specific and it was apparent that the paper had documented information. Therefore with each published expose, this political party chairman amplified the call for independent investigations.
“On May 1, 2014, three officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) came to my home with a search and seizure warrant. While the warrant did not state this, the officers asserted that the warrant was pursuant to their investigations into the leak of client information from Bank of The Bahamas.”

As was widely reported in the media, the officers seized Mr. Cash’s cellular phone, a laptop computer and allegedly physically removed a second laptop from his hands.

The FNM chairman said it is his well-considered position that the attacks on his family are “blatant, well planned, and coordinated acts of political victimisation, intimidation, and character assassination” by the senior executives of The Bank of The Bahamas under the direction of the Government of The Bahamas and in fact charged that the actions of the government are a violation of several articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“I submit that through its direct and indirect actions, The government of Perry Gladstone Christie has violated each of the foregoing six articles and sections of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as they relate to my family and me,” his submission further read.

“More specifically, I further submit that each and every component of this full frontal assault on one of this government’s primary political opponents is being done at the direction of the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Perry Gladstone Christie.”
Mr. Cash is now calling for legislative reform.

“The country’s recent peek behind the think dark curtains of Bank of The Bahamas revealed an urgent need for The Bahamas to implement protection, and financial benefits where applicable, for persons who reveal wrongdoing within government and related agencies,” he wrote. “The existing provision of the Banks and Trust Companies Act which allow for whistleblower protections need to be tightened up given the political witch-hunt that was misdirected at this political party chairman.”

Mr. Cash is also calling for amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, the establishment of an Office of the Ombudsman and the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act.

“In the coming days, these submissions will be further disseminated to other agencies whose mandates include the protection and preservation of human rights,” he said. “Governments, such as the US Government who have reported on human rights in The Bahamas will be petitioned to update their superficial reporting on human rights in The Bahamas.
“Victimisation, intimidation, denial of jobs and contracts are real but they are too frequently underplayed in international reporting.”

Mr. Cash’s items were returned after the seizure.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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