Jun 12, 2017 Letters
The EU Commission wants to remove Guyana from the anti-money-laundering blacklist. The EU Parliament says no. They want the EU to have an independent, autonomous process for judging whether countries pose a threat of financial criminality rather than relying on the judgement of an external body, viz the Financial Action Task Force. Fair enough…but how long do we have to wait?
In the meanwhile there is another and deeper conflict. Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 says that Guyanese citizens can be sentenced to death and executed for certain offences under the Act. That is bad enough. But we can be executed even if we did not intend to kill anybody. Why is this in our law? A desire to terrorize citizens into compliant behaviour?
In a recent statement the EU affirmed that it universally opposes the use of capital punishment adding that, “Capital punishment is not a deterrent against crime and renders miscarriages of justice irreversible.” Exactly so! The EU will not extradite anybody to a country with the death penalty unless that country assures the EU that the death penalty will not be carried out. Mexico, Switzerland, South Africa and other countries without the death penalty also refuse extradition without such an assurance. The Italian Constitutional Court has gone further and refused extradition to the USA even though the USA gave every assurance that it would not impose a death sentence.
Obviously much of the world considers that peoples’ lives are more important than money laundering. Guyanese lives are just as important as other people’s lives.
The Government of Guyana wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world. As we wait for the EU Parliament and the EU Commission to resolve their difference, there is enough time to do the civilised thing and remove from the law the barbarous provisions which would allow the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to execute its own citizens.
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
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