Monday, August 4, 2014

Public Order Act should be amended, says American Ambassador Jackson

The Public Order Act should be either amended or repealed, United States of America ambassador Robert Jackson has said.

He was speaking to local journalists during a round-table session at the Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at the Sea (Reflecs 3) on Thursday 3rd April 2014 in morning. “First of all let me tell you that we have concerns about the Act, as the Act is very restrictive. We would like to see it amended. We think it’s a move in the wrong direction because these restrictions are not only anti-democratic but they also make it difficult for non-governmental organisations and even for international organisations to work with partners who are doing very valuable work,” said Ambassador Jackson, the principal deputy assistant officer of the Bureau of African Affairs in the US Department of State.

Also present during the round-table session to discuss the current foreign policy of the US and also to talk about the help the US is bringing to Seychelles were US ambassador to Seychelles Sharon Villarosa and political officer Maroof Ahmed.

Regarding the human rights report, Ambassador Jackson said: “We feel that the report is balanced and accurate. The criticism is unfounded but that does not mean that we are not open for dialogue with the government. I am prepared to defend it.”

Asked how the US has been engaging positively in Seychelles, the ambassador answered: “We are providing training for the police and recently I visited the Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana and soon we will be sending policemen from Seychelles there. After each training, there is a follow-up and those who take part are being asked to come back after some months for a proper follow-up.”