Sunday 15 December, 2019

Massa day not done, Kamla says

UNC Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at the party's Monday Night Forum at Preysal High School, Couva on September 2, 2019.

UNC Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at the party's Monday Night Forum at Preysal High School, Couva on September 2, 2019.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has condemned the laying of a sedition charge against union leader Watson Duke, accusing Government of misusing the colonial law to silence its political opponents and other dissenting voices.

Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum at the Preysal High School in Couva, she put the country on notice, warning that Government was making moves to criminalise citizens' freedom of speech. 

Persad-Bissessar said it was clear that Government was putting Massa law to use to oppress people.

“Soon the whole country would be condemning your Government and I want to see you lock up all the good right-thinking citizens of TT.”

Referencing Duke's sedition charge, she said it was important to note that he was not only a trade unionist, but the leader of Progressive Democratic Patriots, which she said was poised to take the two seats in Tobago from the hands of the ruling People's National Movement (PNM). 

She urged citizens not to be intimidated by the use of such tactics, which she said was the hallmark of a dictatorship.

“There is no question that this Government shows all signs of dictatorship. They try to pass laws to allow them to seize your property if they accused you of a crime. They just have to accuse you of a crime.”

Stating that sedition laws have no place in a free and democratic society, she called for the urgent repeal of the Act.

She noted that many developed countries have struck such legislation from their law books. 

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