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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Amnesty concerned over 'apparent inaction' of the Bahamas towards 2008 report issues


HUMAN rights group Amnesty International has expressed concern by the "apparent inaction" of the Bahamas government towards any of the issues tabled in the 2008 report published earlier this year.

The report tabled concerns over the death penalty, domestic violence and migrant's rights, and provided suggestions towards restoring the country's commitment to promoting and protecting human rights.

Commenting on the police and security forces, the report stressed: "The lack of an independent body to investigate allegations of ill-treatment involving police officers undermined confidence in due process."

Yesterday, Amnesty International spokesman R. E. Barnes named the allegations surrounding the deaths of Patrick Strachan and excessive force used on Emmanuel McKenzie as two examples of inaction towards the report, as the organisation is unaware of any conclusion to either investigation.

He also criticised Government's refusal to release reports on the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

Amnesty International calls on Government to:

Repeal all provisions allowing for the death penalty and immediately declare a moratorium on all executions;

Ensure that all complaints of excessive use of force by the security forces are subject to immediate, thorough and independent investigation and, if state agents are charged with misconduct, that their cases are brought to trial in an expeditious manner;

Amend existing legislation to ensure that marital rape is outlawed;

Ensure the full and effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Protection Order Act;

Implement migration policies that protect human rights, including ratifying and implementing the international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

Mr. Barnes added: "We are concerned first and foremost about human rights, however we always try to allow governments or the appropriate bodies sufficient time to follow proper protocol.

"Our job is simply to observe and note what's occurred. However, it is our fervent hope that a report on the Detention Centre is forthcoming."

December 05, 2009