• Chuck says he understands that the government cannot criminalise people's beliefs.

Chuck Says Gov’t Will Not Repeal Obeah Act But Will Introduce Legislation To Curb Fraudulent Activities

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Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says reports that the government is to make the practice of obeah legal, are untrue.

He says his recent remarks in Parliament on the matter have been misrepresented and has caused him to face much abuse on social media.

Minister Chuck maintains that a new law to protect vulnerable people from being fleeced by those who exploit their beliefs, is what’s being considered.

Stevian Simmonds reports:


Minister Chuck’s recent remarks on plans to repeal the Obeah Act, and to implement a broader legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable people from exploitation, had elicited many angry responses.

In Nationwide’s Public Opinion last week, members of the public expressed their views on the issue.

But, Minister Chuck says there are no plans to legalise that brand of sorcery, which has its roots in West Africa.

The Justice Minister says the government is however contemplating a new legislation that will broadly address fraudulent activities.

Minister Chuck says he understands that the government cannot criminalise people’s beliefs.

But, he says where that belief is exploited, the proposed legislation will be utilized.

The Justice Minister says he agrees with Baptist Pastor, Reverend Devon Dick, who recently argued in an opinion column that criminalising people’s belief systems is unconstitutional and could be challenged in court.

Minister Chuck says the Obeah Act will remain on the books, while the proposed legislation is being contemplated.



Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.


One thought on “Chuck Says Gov’t Will Not Repeal Obeah Act But Will Introduce Legislation To Curb Fraudulent Activities

  1. Trevor Williams

    When it comes to beliefs, if the government is to review the law on people’s belief systems, then one could extend it to stealing and to murder. Stealing and murder are crimes, because the law says so. Obeah is illegal because the law says so. How far can one go where people’s beliefs are concerned? The line must be drawn somewhere. Obeah, is sorcery, which bad-mind people use to hurt others. As a clergyman in a deliverance ministry, I have had to deal with many cases of that nature. No to legalizing obeah.

    Reply

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