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Apr 28, 2011

“Don’t kill the Messenger,” says Human Rights Commission to G.O.B.

The Human Rights Commission of Belize has been in existence for over two decades. Its service to the citizens of the country has been well noted over the years, particularly when justice has not been delivered.  The Human Rights Commission issued a release earlier today defending the very people whose mission is to help and defend the public. It reads, “Governments around the world often ‘kill the messenger’ rather than acknowledge and deal.” The commission is speaking in support of Belizeans for Justice and the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action whose members have been under constant attacks. Vehicles belonging to the family of Yolanda Schakron have been consumed during arsons and Moses Sulph, Cola’s President, has been fired from his post due to his activism.  News Five spoke via phone to Antoinette Moore of the Commission who says that the rights of these individuals are recognized by both the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

Antoinette Moore

Via Phone: Antoinette Moore, Secretary, Human Rights Commission of Belize

“The recent incidents involving Belizeans for Justice and now COLA; the COLA President, Moses Sulph. We see this potentially as a dangerous pattern that may be developing with respect to human rights defenders. Now as a human rights organization, we recognize that human rights defenders are one of the key links in protecting human rights defenders. Individuals may not call themselves human rights defenders but in fact that is what they are when they speak out on behalf of the rights of others and that is in fact what the United Nations and the Organization of American States view them as. And so we decided, the Human Rights Commission of Belize, decided that it was important for us to make this statement so that all those involved—both the defenders and those that might be attempting to silence them—can understand the implications of what is going on.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now most political organizations use intimidation tactics to frighten the masses into being good sheep. Is this something that your organization is committed to pushing forward to seeing Mister Sulph reinstated?”

Via Phone: Antoinette Moore

“Well, not an individual case. As an individual case, we see this as symptomatic of what has happened in the country over years—not simply under this particular administration, but in administrations past. We’ve seen the very same thing—individuals be fired, individuals be arrested, individuals be intimidated. We see what’s happening with Misses Schakron. That can’t be laid at the feet of the government. We don’t know who is doing it, but it certainly appears that the government is not taking it as seriously as they ought to. So I would not say that we’re as an organization committed to seeing the reinstating of Mister Sulph, [but] we support him in his efforts to being reinstated—we certainly support him. But we are looking at the overall picture. We’re looking at how the firing of Moses Sulph fits into the entire picture and we see it as a potentially dangerous pattern emerging.”

The UN’s Declaration provides for the support and protection of human rights defenders in the context of their work.  The OAS also declared that their work continues to be essential for the process of strengthening democracies.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for ““Don’t kill the Messenger,” says Human Rights Commission to G.O.B.”

  1. Gustav says:

    Has anyone heard of GUARDIAN ANGELS?

    They started in the U.S., and now they are in many countries.

    They are citizens trained and equipped to patrol “hot” neighborhoods, and protect innocent people. They have a website, and they have proved very effective in reducing crime. And it’s a program that costs almost nothing, because they are all volunteers.

    Guardian Angels is even willing to send organizers and advisors to a country like ours, to help them learn what to do.

    Check them out! If COLA or Belizeans for Justice or anyone else REALLY wants effective help, they need to reach out to Guardian Angels.

  2. tuff says:

    wow………..finnally,,,,,,,,great News…….real news…

  3. HANZ says:

    fact of the matter is that none of Moses Sulph’s human rights have been violated…YET.

  4. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    Gustav, Guardian Angel is a good idea but I don’t think that it will work in Belize since the co-operation of the government will be necessary and since a lot of these gangs are actually working for the government it will not be easy for them, bottom line is that Belize has a very corrupt administration that encourages all sorts of illegal activities in order to maintain their strong hold, the only thing that will change that situation is a revolution by the people and the government is doing all it can to try and avert that, reason why innocent citizens cannot get gun license I think the citizens need to start burying some weapons for when that time comes around . Remember, My Legacy B 4 My People.

  5. Joe Devine says:

    There is also a saying that “you don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

  6. Kristle Caetano says:

    Waiting for Sony’s lawyers to respond with another pointless lawsuit.

  7. BeautifulMayan says:

    This yah govament need to be gone already!They are so corrupt!The rich is getting richa & the poh the get poha…..

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