Article 18 seems geared for repression under the guise of combating sedition

Dear Editor,

The Working People’s Alliance Overseas Associates adds its voice to those organizations and individuals who have spoken out in opposition the draconian and archaic Article 18 of the Cybercrimes Bill, 2016.

We accept that with new modes of communication that were not anticipated by laws presently enacted, many countries have gone beyond common law to enact legislation to deal with various forms of Cyber abuse but this Article 18 seems geared for repression under the guise of combating sedition. We in Guyana have had our bad experiences at the hands of authoritarian regimes attempting to suppress political dissent and must condemn any act under any guise that would take away our freedom to express ourselves. No legislation should be employed to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights of freedom of conscience, action, expression and the absolute right of legitimate dissent and the right to remove a government not lawfully elected or a government lawfully elected that destroys the foundation of our democracy. The right to agitate for the removal of such governments should not be abridged. The Declaration of Independence of the United States established this point which has since became universally accepted that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same objective evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government”. If a government governs fairly and justly they should have no fear of sedition.

The Working People’s Alliance Overseas Associates would continue to uphold its founding principle and struggle against friend and foe to preserve the people’s freedom. Under the current formulation of Article 18 we will potentially stand guilty of sedition if we attempt to carry out this principle.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Branch

Press Secretary WPAOA

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