Categorized | National News

Amnesty International Report “Misleading”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to an Amnesty International report which recognized The Bahamas for the first time among countries with pressing human rights issues.

In a statement provided exclusively to The Journal, the Ministry said the ongoing notion by local groups that say the proposed Interception of Communication Bill is a “Spy Act” is false.

The Amnesty report notes that local human rights groups have expressed fear regarding government surveillance online and made specific reference of the Supreme Court ruling that Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald had breached the constitutional rights to privacy and to freedom of expression of members of environmental group Save The Bays (STB).

The ministry said that without qualification there is no threat to privacy in The Bahamas. adding  that the reports of any such threat are entirely misplaced.

Regarding the Supreme Court ruling in the matter pertaining to the minister of education, the ministry added that the ruling is being appealed.

Officials said the position of the Parliament is that no court can injunct the Parliament or MPs in what they can say.

“That is the point of the case. There is no privacy issue involved.  No one’s privacy was breached.  We have cautioned these organizations not to uncritically accept information that is passed on to them, without more investigation,” the statement said.

The report also outlined the recent gender equality referendum, which says the results put at risk the citizens’ rights of families, in particular the risk of separation of families with diverse nationalities or children born outside of The Bahamas to Bahamian parents.

The Ministry insisted that the government stands firmly for the equality of women.

“It takes no acts to discriminate against people based on their orientation, race, colour, creed, gender or religion.  The Bahamas Government shows that it is an equal opportunity protector of all citizens and residents of this country,” officials said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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