Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has spoken out about a move by the Personnel Administration Department to censure teacher and outspoken cleric Charles Morris for speaking during a Barbados Labour Party organised meeting.
“This Government has over the course of the last year, through a number of its statements, sought to intimidate Barbadians into silence.
“We have spoken of it before but must now do so in even stronger terms given the actual steps taken to selectively charge Reverend Morris, for simply the expression of his opinion in a public forum.
“That [he] stated that this Government is the worst this country has ever seen, is his opinion. There is nothing subversive about his saying so. It has not incited anyone into action. What is more, the selective charging of Reverend Morris when others remain untouched for their participation as teachers on political platforms and even in political advertisements in the midst of elections, reinforces the Barbados Labour Party’s view that this is nothing else other than persecution,” she said in a statement this evening. Mottley further described the move as “yet another attack by this Government on Barbadians’ right to free speech and the state of our democracy”.
“ . . . Anyone who knows Reverend Morris, is well aware of his frank and outspoken nature – whether it was against a Barbados Labour Party administration or a Democratic Labour Party one or indeed against his own church.
“There are too many other serious problems facing our educational system and our young people – indeed our country – for energy and time to be spent by the Ministry of Education and the Personnel Administration Division on what is really viewed by most fair-minded Barbadians as the expression of an opinion, and some may even argue, a statement of fair comment,” she stated.