Rights Bahamas sounds alarm on ‘spy bill’

The head of a local human rights advocacy group is sounding the alarm on the recent passing of the Interception of Communications Bill 2017, which the group’s leader said, is suspicious considering the fact that the prime minister had no input in the bill.

In a statement yesterday, Rights Bahamas President Stephanie St. Fleur called for the Free National Movement (FNM) government to “stand up for what is right.”

She said, “it is my hope that Members of Parliament (MPs) Adrian Gibson, Elsworth Johnson and Romauld Ferreira, who all worked with Rights Bahamas in the past, as well as Senator Renard Henfield of We March, will support us in protecting our citizens privacy, which they so strongly opposed back when it was a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) initiative.”

St. Fleur admonished her former colleagues to “do what they know is the right thing to do and maintain the courage of their convictions on this most important issue.

“I’m calling on our journalists to stand up with Rights Bahamas. This is a serious attack on our civil liberties.

“The ‘spy bill’ has now been passed. It will only be a matter of time before outspoken reporters find their phones tapped, their emails intercepted and their confidential sources compromised.”

She also pointed out that every citizen of The Bahamas ought to be concerned about “this terrifying attempt to seriously erode our constitutional right to privacy”, as should all church leaders, the business sector and civil society.

Once a fundamental freedom is taken away from the people, St. Fleur said, it is rarely if ever given back.

She added that Rights Bahamas is prepared to challenge the ‘spy bill’ in court.