“Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group within society for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of a society thereby reducing their standing among their fellow citizens.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The role of the media is of high significance when it comes to providing the population with succinct information of non-erroneous nature and paramount to keeping a nation healthy (not meaning manipulating news and making an idol out of the leaders of the state every day even when they are contradictory and going against their electoral promises/manifesto). The intellectual sophistications swashed by many through surveys for made-up truths about which group is ahead in the race cannot be anything other than a mock parody when scrutinizing how information is treated on our island.

For instance, an activist is treated as a condemned and unlawful citizen prior to proper investigations and Court’s ruling and in the irresponsible and unethical way of treating information by some newsrooms, destroying the reputation of someone who has not yet been proven guilty by portraying him as a “hacker” instead of an IT professional. It is more surprising to note – or is it? – that innocents (until proven guilty) are being condemned by some supposedly independent news groups.

Ish Sookun has been of remarkable perspicacity since the campaign against the imposition of the biometric identity card on civilians – the technology which denies civilians of their freedom of movement among others through a surveillance state. Could he not be right now the target of political repression of some kind? Latest testimonials from his colleagues plead in his favour as an innocent. If the population has to believe all sorts of allegations, then why not proof and testimonies from his colleagues?

In countries where citizens’ rights are violated by repressive dictatorial states, seeking asylum becomes an option, with even more light shed on the rampant conditions of the people of the country at an international level. People have always gathered and made their voices heard through concrete actions, when their rights and liberties are trampled upon. This makes them in no way terrorists unless those in control are themselves that which they are mirroring upon believers of “Peace, Justice, Liberty”.

According to latest figures in the media (no formal statistical figures are available though), there are 2,500 citizens who have not given up on their rights as free thinking individuals, by not adhering to the violations imposed by the biometric identity card; matter which is being taken care of at the Privy Council level through Dr Madhewoo’s legal actions, while the field work and awareness campaign are being carried out by political groups like Lalit, Rezistans ek Alternativ, Mouvman Premye Mai and the No to Biometric ID card’s platform which has been labouring since 2013.

If political repressions from mainstream parties and some newsrooms are working hand-in-hand in the making of our already difficult country a more repressive one, they should not stagger before what history has already proven so far in terms of civil rights movements claiming their rights and freedom. Our own historical connection with slavery and rebellion cannot be ignored in that sense. Human beings’ inner driving force to free themselves from shackles and rigid laws (from dictatorial regimes, genocides and other refugee issues) are never-ending trophies of bravery and determination in that quest for freedom, even if this means jumping off Le Morne mountain which is unfortunately now fenced and inaccessible to the people of our land. Political repression shall not be the end of that quest for a better society where the rights and freedom of the people become the nation’s due.