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Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty Inc. (TIRL)

P.O. Box 2622, Kingstown,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines

18th August, 2016

His Excellency the Most Honourable

Sir Frederick Ballantyne
The Governor General
Old Montrose, Kingstown,
St Vincent


Your Excellency,
The Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty Inc. (TIRL) extends grace and peace to your Excellency. We are a
nonprofit, non-governmental Human Rights Education services provider registered in the State of St. Vincent and
the Grenadines (S.V.G.). Today we write to you appealing to your good judgment and moral conscience to consider
our request that the Cybercrimes Act 2016 passed in the House of Parliament on 12 th August, 2016 not be assented
to in its current state by your Excellency. Our major concerns and reasons are as follows:
1. That the Cybercrimes Act, 2016 contains provisions which if enforced will damage inalienable/God-given
fundamental rights and freedoms of the people, namely: Freedom of Expression, Speech, the Press,
Information and private domain freedoms of thought, belief, conscience, opinion and choice. These are all
freedoms guaranteed under sections 10 and 9 of the Constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines of 1979
and we cherish them as an independent people and nation.
2. That section 17-Cyberbullying, due to its vague and subjective language, lacking legal certainty, will
criminalize the truth and criminalize the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is known to cause
offence among persons who may not believe what God commands his followers to preach to them, even
using computer systems. Gods command to us to preach his word comes with the recognition that some
may not desire to hear it and find it harassing to them, find its exposure of their sins humiliating and
distressing. They may even find it harmful to their reputation as it publicly exposes their sins. Please see
Ezekiel 2:3-8, 1 Peter 2:6-8, Matthew 28:18-20.
TIRL, P.O. Box 2622 1784-531-7558/528-1015

3. That criminal sanction, including criminal record, heavy fines or jail sentence or both, for the preaching of
the truth, will represent state sponsored persecution of religious and conscientious persons. This is against
our constitutionally guaranteed protection of freedom of conscience in section 9 of our Constitution.
Parliament is forbidden from making law which breeches the constitution and prohibits the religious liberty
of the people. See Acts 5:14-29 for evidence of Gods displeasure with and overruling of imprisonment
sentence for preachers of the Gospel, when their opponents claimed their preaching had intentionally done
harm to their reputation.
4. That section 17 hangs the ingredients of the offence on a claimants subjective feelings and their so called
evidence that harm has been suffered to their health or reputation, even when the information published is
the truth. This is a dangerous precedence for the state to set in a free society where truth must be allowed to
flourish in order to correct immorality and possible state and other corruption.
5. That this criminalization of the truth will affect evangelistic efforts of foreign preachers and foreign critics
of the government and its policies, who are outside of the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and
whose online publications has effectwithin S.V.G., according to the Jurisdiction section of the Act- see
section 33
6. That such a provision will breed thin-skinned-ness in society, giving life to the bringing of nonsensical
claims before enforcement agencies and further burdening them to pursue frivolous accusations which can
now become criminal. This will rob them of time and resources needed to give attention to more serious
matters of law, order and justice in the state.
If it is possible for you to exercise any authority you may have to institute a panel of interested stakeholders to
review the law in its current state and recommend changes before you assent to it, we graciously request that you
do so, in the interest of our Country. To date twenty-six (26) international and regional Freedom of Expression
organizations have expressed grave concerns over the Cybercrimes Act 2016 of S.V.G. As the Head of
State of this recognized parliamentary democracy, governed by inalienable rights and freedoms guaranteed in our
constitution, we appeal to you to not assent to this Act in its current form until such amendments to ensure
protection of the Religious and Civil liberties of the people. May God help you to do your duty to him and to the
people. Amen

Yours Faithfully,
Anesia Baptiste
Associate Director, T.I.R.L

TIRL, P.O. Box 2622 1784-531-7558/528-1015