Barbados to maintain laws on death penalty, prostitution and homosexuality
By Melissa Bryant
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – THE Barbadian government resolutely reaffirmed its decision to maintain the death penalty as part of its sentencing penalties in the country’s legal system.
According to Caribbean Net News, the reconfirmation of this position came from Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development Christopher Sinckler, as he defended Barbados’s human rights record before the
United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process in Geneva, Switzerland. Sinckler argued that the Barbados Government had neither mission nor mandate from the people of Barbados to abolish the death penalty as was being called for by a number of member countries of the Council.
“It is a part of the legal system of Barbados and would remain so until further notice, but obviously there was not a clear desire in the country for abolition of the death penalty”.~~Adz:Right~~
He indicated to the Council that the government had begun to engage an internal examination of existing domestic laws making the imposition of the death penalty mandatory in cases of murder and treason. He conceded that this move was in contravention of some human rights obligations to which Barbados was subject and would therefore be reviewed holistically.
However, he defended the country’s maintenance of laws criminalising homosexuality. “Government does not intend to consider any recommendations to legalise homosexuality, prostitution or allow for the distribution of condoms in prison until such time as a full and proper national discourse on the issues can be engaged,” stressed Sinckler.
The Universal Periodic Review of Barbados’s human rights situation ends today (Dec. 5).