UK to engage Guyana on LGBT rights, abolishing death penalty and decriminalising suicide

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07/21/2021

The United Kingdom (UK), through its High Commission in Guyana, intends to engage the Irfaan Ali led government on major human rights issues in the coming months. These include but are not limited to the abolition of the death penalty, decriminalising suicide and more protection for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. This was communicated to the President on Tuesday by the newly-appointed British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller. Bearing best wishes from the Queen and the UK government, Miller said during her time in Guyana she intends to discuss with the government and civil society these human rights issues. “I believe that through constructive dialogue that we can learn each other’s perspectives and take meaningful steps forward,” she told Dr. Ali in her accreditation speech at the Office of the President. Although no executions have been carried out since 1997, Guyana has continued to impose death sentences. There are currently more than ten prisoners under sentence of death in the country, all of whom would be removed from death row and resentenced should a pending appeal be allowed and the death penalty is declared unconstitutional. Guyana will become the final country in South America to abolish the death penalty and may be able to influence other countries in the Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth to do the same.

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