‘Laws lacking’

EU concerned about Gays and prisoners

Europe remains concerned about the treatment of gays here, as well as the continued existence of the death penalty on Barbados’ statute books, the continent’s top diplomat has said.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Ambassador Mikael Barfod has also complained about the lack of effective domestic violence legislation, increasing child abuse cases and extraordinarily long delays in delivering justice in the courts.

Barfod told a press luncheon at Champers, Rockley, Christ Church yesterday afternoon he was unhappy with the way members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community were treated here and called for action to end discrimination against the community.

“Therefore, the EU continues to advocate for repealing of the legislation which discriminates against at LBGT persons.

“We also worry about the discrimination of same-sex consensual relations of all kinds,” he said.

Barfod, however, gave the assurance that the EU was not prescribing any model for same-sex relationships, stressing that such a direction was best left to Barbadians to decide.

The European diplomat also repeated his previously stated objection to the death penalty, saying that while Government had taken the Offences Against the Person Bill to Parliament to remove the mandatory death sentence, he was disappointed that the death penalty had not been abolished.

“We are very keen that the next step be taken as well . . . that is the legal moratorium on the executions. And ultimately the goal is clear, and that is to see that Barbados abolishes the death penalty,” Barfod said.

Domestic violence and child abuse also occupied the ambassador’s attention. He criticized the “impunity” with which Barbadians engage in domestic violence, even while he admitted that the number of related deaths were falling – nine in 2013 and three last year.

He also questioned why no one had yet to face justice for the suspicious deaths of three children.

This year alone, Shamar Weekes, 12, of Fryers Well, Checker Hall, St Lucy.

was found hanging at home on May 14, his death ruled a suicide; three-year-old Leyla Lewis passed away on August 28 after being taken to hospital with bruises, and six-year-old Jahan King died in hospital on June 29 after sustaining bruises to his head.

“Unfortunately, up to this date, [there have been] no arrests in any one of these cases,” he remarked.

Barfor also took on the judicial system, complaining about lengthy delays. He said it was not good enough for cases to be delayed for 25 years or persons to be on remand for as many as five years.

“When you are on remand for more than five years, surely we cannot talk about normal justice. We therefore call for speedy trials for those on remand,” he said.

The EU ambassador called for innovative ways to ease the “gridlock” within the criminal justice system and recommended a parole system, along with a rehabilitative programme to support released prisoners and reduce high incidences of recidivism. (EJ)

4 Responses to ‘Laws lacking’

  1. Alex Alleyne December 17, 2015 at 8:57 am

    When you guys run out of things to do you start picking at everything under the sun. You got rich out of slave labour , why don’t you give up some of the cash and shut up. You reap havoc on our young women and men and pass on you genes . Go to the lab and correct the bad that you spread.

  2. BoBoThe Clown December 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    The Ambassador is right about one thing. The Criminal Justice System in Barbados is a mess.The gridlock that he speaks of is a glaring problem. There are cases on the books that have been there for years and years with little or no attempt to have them resolved. Many people in Barbados have died trying to have their cases heard before the courts,some of these cases t have depleted their life savings while trying to get they cases heard in a Court of Justice.
    There are people charged with murder that are sitting in jail without a clue when their cases will be heard. Others that have committed gun related crimes and are on bail walking the streets without fear of incarceration, because of our corrupted system and Lawyers .
    criminals in Barbados are making a mockery of our Justice System ,and as a result many more will be endangered, or worse , loose their lives.

  3. clint December 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

    He echoes my previous sentiments as it relates to changing of the laws re domestic violence. I also agree that there is a need for legislative reform to protect the rights and privileges of all Barbadians, LGBT community included.However, we have far to go because of the ingrained negative practices Barbadians see as normal and associated with love, such as parents beating children as a form as discipline and a man beating his woman. As for some Barbadian attitudes towards LGBT persons, again they see it as normal to deny this group their god given and human rights to be themselves, for the mere fact that Barbadians were taught to fear and hate persons of this group because it is a sin. So passing legislation to protect and allow them women, children, LGBT basic human rights may result in crimalizing a large portion of the Barbadian society.

  4. Tony Waterman December 18, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I and ALL Bajans where ever we are will listen to the new MASSAS whe the ask the MIGHTY USA to ABOLISH ALL Death Penalties Throughout that Country, The State of Texas has EXECUTED mor people This years than we did during our 50 years of Independence. So to Mr.Ambassador “”KEEP YOUR FRICKING MOUTH OUT OF OUR BUSINESS””
    What is so wrong with it just sitting there, and not being used.and why are you not going after Singapore who Hangs people all the time ??? let me answer that, they have no need to Borrow money or get AID from any of you, they are Standing on their own two feet.


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