Solidarity with Yugge Farrell: Regional Statement 

Solidarity with Yugge Farrell: Regional Statement 

Amend the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines NOW 

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We the undersigned, condemn in the strongest possible terms, the persecution and mistreatment of Ms. Yugge Farrell by the legal, medical, and political authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are in full solidarity with Ms. Farrell and those Vincentians who stand with her.

Ms. Farrell was arrested on January 4th, 2018 and charged with the use of abusive language to Karen Duncan- Gonsalves, the wife of Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and daughter-in-law of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. After pleading not guilty, an application was made by the prosecutor for Ms. Farrell to be confined to the Mental Health Centre for two weeks for psychiatric evaluation, as allowed under the nation’s Mental Health Act. However, according to a statement issued by the St. Vincent and Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVG HRA) – an independent Civil Society Organization – there was no apparent supporting evidence or behavior by Ms. Farrell which warranted the prosecutor and magistrate seeking and deciding to commit Ms. Farrell to the Mental Health Center. Furthermore, it appears that medication was administered to Ms. Farrell although the Mental Health Act only speaks to observation and evaluation of persons and does not include any mechanism to oversee involuntary admission and treatment practices. Also problematic is the fact that the Mental Health Center does not currently have trained psychiatrists or psychologists on staff. After the initial observation period passed, Ms. Farrell was detained for a third week and only released on bail on January 29th, 2018.

The mistreatment of Yugge Farrell raises several serious concerns about the probable abuse of the existing Mental Health Act of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We ask- is commitment to a mental institution for use of insulting language a regular occurrence in SVG? We join the SVG HRA in questioning the validity of the observation report and treatment administered to Ms. Farrell. We note the alleged romantic relationship that Ms. Farrell has publicly claimed with Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and caution those who rush to dismiss this incident as simply a matter of ‘love gone bad’ to reflect on the fact that state entities can easily use the excuse of mental instability to vilify, discredit, and institutionalize any critic or person(s) deemed a threat or embarrassment to the established political order.

As human rights defenders, feminists, and persons who care about well-being and justice in the Caribbean and beyond, we condemn the actions of the judicial and medical authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and their violation of the rights of Ms. Yugge Farrell. We deplore the misuse of mental health policies to oppress individuals and advance goals other than the safeguarding of wellness. Now that Ms. Farrell’s detention in the Mental Health Center has ended, we support calls for an investigation into the decision to detain and medicate her. We support her family members and demand independent medical and psychiatric care for her. We stand with the St. Vincent Human Rights Association who urge an immediate review and modification of the existing Mental Health Act so that it becomes compliant with international norms and standards to prevent abuses and protect human rights. Finally, we remind the government and authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines of their commitment to ensure their citizens’ right to free speech and protection from state persecution. The eyes of the world are watching you.

There must be no more violations of the rights of Yugge Farrell or any other Vincentian. Amend the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines now.

In solidarity,

  1. Andaiye – Guyana
  2. Karen De Souza – Red Thread, Guyana
  3. Sherlina Nageer MPH – Guyana
  4. Alissa Trotz – Canada
  5. Jospehine Whitehead – Guyana
  6. Angelique V. Nixon – Trinidad and Tobago
  7. Gordon Forte – Guyana
  8. Delores Robinson – GROOTS, Trinidad and Tobago
  9. Tonya Haynes – Barbados
  10. Gina Singh-Trotz – USA
  11. Akola Thompson – Women’s Wednesdays, Guyana
  12. Anya Dover – Guyana
  13. Indera Persaud – Jamaica
  14. Maya Trotz – USA
  15. Ronelle King – Barbados
  16. Julio Thijs – Canada
  17. Verna St Rose Greaves – Trinidad and Tobago
  18. Dr Nastassia Rambarran – Barbados
  19. Mellissa Ifill – Guyana
  20. Salima Bacchus-Hinds – Guyana
  21. Fatimah Jackson-Best – Canada
  22. Charlene Wilkinson – Guyana
  23. Stephanie Leitch – Womantra, Trinidad and Tobago
  24. Krysta Bisnauth – Guyana
  25. David Khan – Canada
  26. Mosa Telford – Guyana
  27. Jessica Joseph – Trinidad/ St. Lucia
  28. Paige Jennan AndrewWE-Change, Jamaica
  29. Kimalee Phillip – Grenada/ Canada
  30. Lana Finikin – Jamaica
  31. Romola Lucas – USA
  32. Nailah John-Price – Leave Out Violence in SVG, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  33. Shanya Cordis – Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Spelman College, USA
  34. Marcus Day – St. Lucia
  35. Zina Edwards – Guyana
  36. Karen Philip – Trinidad and Tobago
  37. Savitri Persaud – Canada
  38. Roy Kingston – Guyana
  39. Simone Leid – The Women Speak Project, Trinidad and Tobago
  40. Ayesha Constable – Jamaica
  41. Kala Ramnath – UK
  42. Oluatoyin Alleyne – Guyana
  43. Naicelis Rozema Elkins – USA
  44. Maggie Schmeitz – Stichting Ultimate Purpose, Suriname
  45. Alicia Wallace – Equality Bahamas/Hollaback, Barbados
  46. Derwayne Willis – Guyana
  47. Gerhard Ramsaroop – Guyana
  48. Raquel Thomas- Caesar – Guyana
  49. Vidyaratha Kisson – Guyana
  50. Dawn Van Rossum – Antigua and Barbuda
  51. Shonnet Moore – Guyana
  52. Lauricia Akeisha Henry – Antigua
  53. Michelle Springer – Barbados
  54. Chantal Antoine – USA
  55. Holly Bynoe – ARC Magazine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  56. Hilary Nicholson – Video for Change, Jamaica
  57. Vashty Maharaj – Central Beat magazine, Trinidad and Tobago
  58. Tandieka Johnson – USA
  59. Reine Joseph – St. Lucia
  60. Peggy Antrobus – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  61. Honor Ford Smith – Canada/ Jamaica
  62. Alexandrina Wong – Antigua
  63. Marlon Mills – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  64. Marguerite Allen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  65. Vanessa Lumbley – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  66. Shaneka Allen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  67. Althea Cohen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  68. Olive Edwards – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  69. Eunice Graham – Jamaica
  70. Beverly Bain – Canada/ Trinidad
  71. Jean Lowrie-Chin – Jamaica
  72. Erin Greene, CAFRA – Bahamas
  73. Ann Maria Diran – Suriname
  74. Jennifer Grant-Wilson – USA
  75. Marsha Hinds-Layne – NOW, Barbados
  76. Maria Fontenelle – ECADE, Eastern Caribbean
  77. Randall Theodule – St. Lucia
  78. Majhon John – Mental Health Provider, USA
  79. Maxine Allen – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  80. Cherrise Mcdowall – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  81. Jermain Ostiana – Curacao
  82. Diane Cummins – Conscious Exchanges, Barbados
  83. Nicole S. Hendrickson – Firecircle!, Trinidad and Tobago
  84. Judith Weederburn – Jamaica
  85. Keturah Cecelia Babb – Order of Nyahbinghi, Dominica/ Jamaica
  86. Sendy Brown – Canada
  87. Arielle Aska – Antigua
  88. Patricia Sheerettan-Bisnauth – Guyana
  89. Sharda Ganga – PROJECKTA Citizens’ Initiative for Participation and Good Governance, Suriname
  90. Mark Jacobs – Guyana
  91. Nadeen Spence – Jamaica
  92. Nesha Edwards – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  93. Catherine Sealys – Raise Your Voice, St. Lucia
  94. Jamela Khan – Trinidad and Tobago
  95. Carinya Sharples – Guyana
  96. Priscila Francisco Pascoal – Brazil
  97. Audrey Roberts – Bahamas
  98. Emma Lewis – Jamaica
  99. Ruth Osman Rose – Trinidad and Tobago
  100. Beverly Nelson – Grenada
  101. N’Delamiko Lord – Trinidad/ Barbados
  102. Melissa Matthews – Trinidad and Tobago
  103. Linnette Vassell – Jamaica
  104. Bridget Lewis – Canada
  105. Joan French – Jamaica
  106. Ulelli Verbeke – Guyana
  107. Jean La Rose – Guyana
  108. Robert Cuffy – USA
  109. Mark Moseley – Guyana
  110. Derek Gomes – Guyana
  111. Elton McRae – Guyana
  112. Andrew Campbell – Guyana
  113. John Shevrattan – Canada
  114. Shayla Murrell – Barbados
  115. Colin Robinson – CAISO, Trinidad and Tobago
  116. Sasha Robinson – USA
  117. Lisa Outar – USA
  118. Bianca Wagner – Bahamas
  119. Louby Georges – Rights Bahamas, Bahamas
  120. Stephanie Stfleur – Rights Bahamas, Bahamas
  121. Jackson Petit – Bahamas
  122. Granville Knight – Jamaica
  123. Jasmin Renee Wu – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  124. Huiming Wu – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  125. Celine Leid – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  126. Ava Turnquest – Bahamas
  127. Kevon Mc Kenna – Trinidad and Tobago
  128. Winy Marango – Vanutu
  129. Aroona Ramsahai – Trinidad and Tobago
  130. Kenene Senior – Jamaica
  131. Jean-Claude Cournand – 2 Cents Movement, Trinidad and Tobago
  132. Mavis Mainu – Ghana
  133. Soyini Ayanna Forde – Trinidad and Tobago
  134. Alysia Christiani – USA
  135. Namela Baynes-Henry – Rainbow House, Guyana
  136. Tamisha Lee – Jamaica
  137. Natalie Bennett – USA
  138. Jamal Gilbert – Guyana
  139. Rupa Singh – Guyana
  140. Henna Guicherit – Foundation Women’s Rights Center, Suriname
  141. Sandra Latibeaudiere – Jamaica
  142. Shirley Pryce – Jamaica Household Workers Union, Jamaica
  143. Marion Bethel – Bahamas
  144. Carol Narcisse – Jamaica
  145. Nadia Sagar – Guyana
  146. Peta- Anne Baker – UWI, Jamaica
  147. Ruel Johnson – Guyana
  148. Nan Peacocke – Guyana/ St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  149. Roslyn John – St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  150. Norwell Hinds – Guyana
  151. Thomas Eugene – St. Lucia
  152. Delven Adams – Guyana
  153. Halimah DeShong – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  154. Bianca Wagner – Equality Bahamas, Bahamas
  155. Ashlee Burnett – The 2 Cents Movement, Trinidad and Tobago
  156. Crystal Brizan – CAFRA, Trinidad and Tobago
  157. Danuta Radzik – Guyana
  158. Adriana Sandrine Isaac-Rattan – International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN), Trinidad and Tobago
  159. Jacqueline Hughes – Trinidad and Tobago
  160. Terrence Blackman – Guyana
  161. Japhet Jackman – Guyana
  162. Margo King – St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  163. Alana Benjamin – Antigua & Barbuda
  164. Natasha Yhap – Guyana
  165. Clairmont Mali Chung – Stateless
  166. Dianne Madray – Let The Women Speak, Guyana
  167. Brenda Greaves – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  168. Sebastian Prescod – Canada
  169. Sally Erdle – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  170. Maxine Allen – Canada
  171. Sharon Watkis – USA
  172. Lilian Ferrier – Foundation for Human Development, Suriname
  173. Jacqui Alexander – Trinidad and Tobago
  174. Y Deane – Past Chairman Mental Health Commission of Barbados, Barbados
  175. Help and Shelter – Guyana
  176. Leith Dunn – Jamaica
  177. Vanda Radzik – Women’s Rights Advocate, Guyana
  178. Florence Goldson – Belize
  179. Indranie Deyal – Trinidad and Tobago
  180. Wintress White – Red Thread, Guyana
  181. Joy Marcus – Red Thread, Guyana
  182. Halima Khan – Red Thread, Guyana
  183. Vanessa Ross – Red Thread, Guyana
  184. Susan Collymore – Grassroots Women Across Race (GWAR), Guyana
  185. Paul Anthony Odell – USA
  186. Joel Simpson – SASOD, Guyana
  187. Ann Harvey – Guyana
  188. Andrea Weekes – Leave Out Violence Now St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Canada
  189. Dennis Atwell – Guyana
  190. Letitia Pratt – Bahamas
  191. Shorna James – Canada
  192. Amory Cumberbatch – USA
  193. Jeanette Campbell – Jamaica
  194. Sylvia Baker – Bahamas
  195. Kristina Hinds – Barbados
  196. Nicole Charles – Canada
  197. Kaneesha Parsard – USA
  198. Cassandra Lord – Canada
  199. Yusuf Hafejee – Barbados
  200. Gabrielle Hosein – Trinidad and Tobago
  201. Gralyn Frazier – The Bahamas
  202. Susan Mains – Grenada
  203. Leslieann Seegobin – Trinidad and Tobago
  204. Chelsea Foster – Girls of A Feather, St. Lucia
  205. Paul Anthony O’Dell – USA
  206. Roberta Clarke – Trinidad and Tobago
  207. Kaylorn Jones – USA
  208. Marijke Sonneveld – Projekta, Suriname
  209. Antonia Meinecke – Germany
  210. Jennifer Grant Wilson – USA
  211. Mark Dacosta – Guyana
  212. Marilyn Rice-Bowen – Past President, Caribbean Women’s Association
  213. Vanya Martha David – Dominica
  214. Peter Lyte – USA
  215. Nathilee Caldeira – USA
  216. Neish McLean – Jamaica
  217. Marisa Hutchinson – Barbados
  218. Neish McLean – Jamaica
  219. Antoinette Bacchus – USA
  220. Timmia Hearn – USA/ Trinidad and Tobago
  221. Ronald Daniels – Guyana/ Trinidad and Tobago
  222. Anandi A. Premlall – Guyana/ USA
  223. Rajanie Preity Kumar – Canada
  224. Foundation Womens’ Rights Center – Suriname
  225. Quality of Citizenship – Jamaica
  226. Kay Ann – SVU/ ANU
  227. Carla Dougan – UK
  228. Marlene Corbin – USA/ Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  229. Faith Smith – USA
  230. Kadon Douglas – Grenada/ Canada
  231. Donna Joy Tai – Canada
  232. Karen Gordon – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  233. Natifa Yorke – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  234. Kester Thompson – Guyana
  235. Ashley John – Constructive Solutions Inc., St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  236. Ayesha Williams – Trinidad and Tobago
  237. Delroy Williams – Leve Domnik, Dominica
  238. Deirdre Hector – St. Kitts & Nevis / USA
  239. Cyntica Herbert-Fraser – UK
  240. Dale Medford – Barbados
  241. Bernadette Johnson – Bahamas
  242. Cathy Shepherd – Trinidad and Tobago
  243. Garfield Isles – USA
  244. Andrena Emin – St. Vincent/ UK
  245. Cyntica Herbert-Fraser – UK
  246. Khadija Moore – Youth Advocacy Movement, Dominica
  247. Calton Roper – Canada
  248. Shirley Watkis – UK
  249. Wil Campbell – Therapist, Huband, Father, Guyana
  250. Garfield Isles – USA
  251. Jemma John
  252. Rosie Descartes
  253. Coreen Irving
  254. Tamara J Savoury
  255. Cordelia Goodluck
  256. Joan Cuffie
  257. Ernestine Watson
  258. Malaika Slater
  259. Summer Lewis-Clarke
  260. Shanta Grant
  261. Kwame Nkosi Romeo
  262. Marcia Braveboy
  263. Jecliz Walker
  264. Adriana King
  265. Debra Providence
  266. Ajene Eustace
  267. Camille Bradshaw
  268. Beverley Sinclair
  269. Angus Steele
  270. Lorrette Duncan
  271. Joyce Lewis-Cordice
  272. Josette
  273. Winston Lewis
  274. Jamette Pisse
  275. The Bahamas Crisis Centre
  276. Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide Campaign – UK
 Please join us in co-signing this Statement in Solidarity with Yugge Farrell and against abuse of the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although the gross human rights violation of Ms. Yugge Farrell ended this morning when she was finally released from the Mental Health Center of St. Vincent and the Grenadines  where she had been detained and medicated for three weeks, the potential for further abuses remains as long as the Mental Health Act of St Vincent and the Grenadines is not amended. If you would like to add your name as a signatory to this letter, please leave your name, any affiliation, and country in the comments below or email ssnageer [at] yahoo [dot] com.

 

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Top 10 sexist and heterosexist moments in Caribbean Politics

Contribute to the final list of top 10 sexist & heterosexist moments in Caribbean politics by leaving your suggestions in the comments below.  Here are what i’ve been able to come up with in no particular order. Thanks to all who sent suggestions via facebook and twitter.

1. Trinidad & Tobago: Minister of People and Social Development claims “severe fatigue” after a flight attendant alleges that he touched her breasts when he grabbed her name-tag and threatened to have her fired because she asked him to stow his luggage correctly.  The Prime Minister then fired him.  Before the dust could settle on this one, police were investigating reports that the Minister of tourism had physically assaulted his former partner, causing her to lose consciousness. Continue reading