Human Rights Stains
BY TONY BEST, IN NEW YORK | MON, APRIL 22, 2013 - 12:09 AM
Violence against women, discrimination against gays and lesbians and child abuse and prostitution were blots on Barbados’ human rights record last year, according to an American State Department report.
Added to that list was the “occasional” use of excessive force by Bajan police officers who the report also accused of “engaging in such unprofessional conduct” as intimidating or beating suspects to extract confessions or in one case demanding sexual favours or money from four foreign women who had accepted an offer of a safe ride to their home.
On the other side of the human rights ledger, the State Department told Congress that the country’s lone prison which was built six years ago to accommodate 1 250 inmates had only 1 054 at the end of last year, 39 of them were women. Prisoners, it said, were allowed “reasonable” access to visitors but cited reports of lawyers being obstructed by police when visiting their clients in pre-trial detention.
In all, 441 people were in detention last December. However, the report was quick to add that while the length of detentions “may vary from one case to another,” there was no indication that the authorities were abusing the practice.
(From the Nation Newspaper Barbados, Sunday 21st. April 2013)
Mahogany Coconut Group Comment:
We will continue to fight for the rights of: women, children, gays lesbians, prisoners,citizens in police custody and all those groups whose human rights are under threat.We call on the Government of Barbados to remove these "stains" , as a matter of urgency.