Categorized | National News

‘PLP Hypocritical on Corruption,’ Says GBHRA

The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association (GBHRA) said it is shocked and appalled by the cynical posturing of the Progressive Liberal Party in the face of an ongoing anti-corruption probe.

In a statement yesterday, the GBHRA, led by Fred Smith, QC, called upon the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to clarify its sudden change of heart and about-face regarding questions of individual rights, abuse of power and the role of international institutions.

“Can this be the same PLP that, while in office, accused the GBHRA of being traitors and “defaming the country” when we applied for the very same protections, from the very same international institutions, on behalf of the fearful and embattled environmentalists of Save The Bays?” the statement read.

“Can these complaints of a ‘witch hunt’ be coming from the same PLP that carried out a year-long campaign of terror and intimidation against STB members – violating their privacy and threatening to jail them for everything from criminal libel to sedition, all in an effort to protect one of the party’s more unsavory campaign donors?

“Was it not under the PLP that activists like Renard Henfield were intimidated and threatened with harm in an effort to quash public criticism of the regime?

“Was it not the PLP that had singers arrested and questioned over lyrics, in violation of their fundamental right to freedom of expression?

“Was it not under the PLP that, for the first time in recent memory, Bahamians like attorney Maria Daxon and activist Omar Archer were arrested, charged and prosecuted under outdated and authoritarian criminal libel laws, simply for challenging the powers that be?”

The GBHRA added that the organization is particularly appalled by the unfortunate posturing of former Deputy Speaker Dion Smith, who claimed he may have to apply for asylum overseas as he is “afraid in his own country” after being interviewed by police and released without charge.

The organization added that this from a man who sat in the speaker’s chair and allowed senior members of his party to mercilessly and illegally attack and strike fear into members of STB over the most spurious and ridiculous of claims.

“The same man who repeatedly and forcefully silenced members of the then opposition as they tried to intervene and protect innocent citizens who had no voice in Parliament against vile attacks that the Supreme Court has since ruled unconstitutional,” the statement said.

“It is nothing short of astonishing that Dion Smith would have the audacity to utter the sentence: ‘I have never seen any other country treat people the way in which they are treating people.’ He need look no further than himself and his own party.”
In light of the intimidating, high handed and abusive character of its last term in office, the PLP’s current pose is undoubtedly the height and definition of hypocrisy.

The organization reiterated that it opposes any violation of an individual’s fundamental rights, and members of the PLP are welcome to seek protection if they feel such violations have taken place.

Mitchell Refutes Claims

Progressive Liberal Party Senator Fred Mitchell refuted claims made by the GHRA that the PLP abused human rights while in office.

“The release is full of rubbish and non sequiturs and irrelevancy. The material contained is inaccurate. Each allegation is inaccurate. It is a story being spun to support an FNM narrative,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“There was no human rights abuse by the PLP during its time in office that is attributable to the government. What we had was a history of abuse of court procedures which handsomely benefited Mr. Smith’s revenues. He should disclose his interest and the financial benefit he obtained.

“Mr. Smith gave money to the FNM and continues to sing for his supper. He embarrasses himself and no one is fooled by this fake organization called Grand Bahama Human Rights Association.

“Any help from the fake and phony Grand Bahama Human Rights Association is not needed or required. He can take his offer of help and stick it.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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