Labour gets use of community center after US Department of State said Harris’ denial was an abuse of human rights

April 12, 2019 in National

A United States Department of State report which said that denying the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party use of the community centers by the Timothy Harris Team Unity Government, amounted to an abuse of human rights, has resulted in the party holding a meeting in a community center on Thursday night.

The Human Rights Report on St Kitts and Nevis released by United States Secretary of State, Hon. Michael Pompeo in March 2019 noted that the St Kitts and Nevis constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly and association, but that in St Kitts and Nevis, “opposition parties and media, however, reported incidents in which the exercise of these rights was restricted.”
“For example, in February the government banned the opposition St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party from using public facilities,” said the US Department of State Human Rights Report for 2019.
The well attended meeting by the SKNLP on Thursday April 11, was held in the St Johnston Village Community Center.
For the past four years the Acting Director of the Department of Community Development Anne Wigley informed the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) that it cannot use the community centers in St. Kitts to have discussions on national issues with citizens and residents.
In October last year, caretaker for the Labour Party St Christopher 8 constituency, Dr Terrance Drew, fed up with being denied access to the St Peter’s Community Centre, mounted a nighttime protest outside the facility after he was locked out.
The SKNLP during its term in government from July 1995 to February 2015, gave permission to opposition parties including Harris’ coalition opposition and the People’s Action Movement (PAM), to use the community centers
Several letters to Prime Minister Harris and copied to local. regional and international bodies and meetings with non-governmental organizations including the St Kitts Christian Council, the St Kitts Evangelical Association and the St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce had no positive results.