By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has touted the decriminalization of “attempted suicide” as he pushes for a discussion on the reforming and not jail time for those persons who attempt to take their own lives.
Ramjattan made the comments while addressing a police forum where the Police Force launched an inter-agency Suicide Prevention Help Line.
“So I want to urge a debate on the decriminalization of attempted suicide in our country; it will be a useful debate, it might carry the line of the most recent being weather the 2’ 0 clock curfew will stop crime or not. I suppose this is another matter that will create some controversy but it is a necessary controversy in my opinion and there are a lot support points for the decriminalization of suicide. People who survive need to be rehabilitated not imprisoned,” Ramjattan told the gathering.
Suicide is punishable under Chapter 801 Section 96 of the Criminal Offences Act, which states that “Everyone who attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to imprisonment for two years.”
Over the years, persons have been charged after surviving attempts on their own life and according to Ramjattan, the decriminalization could help to solve the whole issue of suicide in a more holistic manner and give persons an opportunity to reform themselves through counseling.
He is convinced that the move will be a good one and has many grounds of support including the fact that several countries around the globe would have already decriminalized the act of attempted suicide.