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Why highlight such a report?
I have read with interest the report of Amnesty International (AI) highlighted in the Stabroek News under the caption ‘Amnesty raps Guyana again on death penalty’.

Guyana is not the only country where the death penalty is in the Law Books, and it is regrettable that a national newspapers has seen it necessary to highlight such a report.

Tricia-Welch-stabbed-death  Sugar-worker-Gopaul

What I think is, however, lacking in the report highlighted are the names of the “dozens of people in 2004 who were abducted, tortured and killed by the operation of a death squad”. At whose doorstep AI is seeking to place the blame?

I think it is also most appropriate for AI to publish in its World Report the status of the United States of America and other leaders of the world vis-à-vis the death penalty and the torture and harsh treatment in detention centres operated by the U.S.A. and other countries.

It is very refreshing to note in the report that the Guyana Human Rights Association has voiced its concern about the prevalence of violence against women, and has denounced the legal system’s treatment of victims of sexual violence, and calling for a major campaign involving government, religious and civic institutions to hold perpetrators. Very refreshing indeed when hitherto, GHRA was only concerned with the rights of perpetrators of violence, rape and murders, totally ignoring the right and trauma and sufferings of the victims of such sub-human attacks.

When His Excellency the President recently spoke about the sluggish approach of the Courts to matters of national importance and of matters affecting the citizenry, he was castigated for interfering with the Judiciary. When the leader of the PNC entered into an arrangement with the convicted drug dealer Bouterse of Suriname and who is wanted for murder, not a soul raised a voice to criticise a national party to seek ties with criminal elements. And when President Bush and other Western leaders proclaim to the world that Saddam Hussein who is in custody, thanks to the Americans, is a villain, a murderer who has committed mass murder of his own citizens, and who should not be allowed to escape his trial, no one has yet accused those authorities of bias and prejudice. No one has questioned whether Saddam will get a fair trial.

Newspapers and news reporters (we do not seem to have journalists in this country) owe it to their consciences and the citizens to be objective in their reporting and not seek to get favours or to be in the books of those they may like by reporting falsely or with a slant or bias of the news.
Nyron Ally

Wednesday, June 01, 2005