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Mauritian personalities bravely stand up against new compulsory biometric ID Card system

25 Mauritian personalities against compulsory biometric ID Card including two former Presidents of the Republic

“We express grave concern regarding the new compulsory biometric ID Card System.”

Jean Jacques ARJOON, musician
Sedley ASSONNE, writer
Jean Claude BIBI, Barrister-at-Law, who is a former Attorney General
Jean Clément CANGY, journalist/writer
Jayen CHELLUM, who is a consumer rights leader
Lindsey COLLEN, writer/activist
Ivan COLLENDAVELLOO, Senior Council, who is former MP, and Select Committee Chairman
Lindlay COURONNE, human rights activist
Henri FAVORY, dramatic artist
Raouf GULBUL, Barrister, who is member of the Bar Council
Vinesh HOOKOOMSING, who is a Former Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius
Pushpa LALLAH, playgroup activist/widow of Former Chief Justice
Ally LAZER, social worker
Krishna LUCHOOMUN, artist/plastician
Vidula NABABSING, academic/former MP
Karl Auguste OFFMANN, GCSK, who is Former President of the Republic of Mauritius
Betty PEERUN, former member of the National Human Rights Commission, a State institution
Yves PITCHEN, art photographer
Rama POONOOSAMY, events manager, who is a former Minister of Arts and Culture
Jane RAGOO, trade unionist
Vinod SEEGUM, trade unionist
Adi TEELUCK, historian
Eric TRITON, musician
Cassam UTEEM, who is a Former President of the Republic of Mauritius
Rama VALAYDEN, Barrister-at-Law, who is a former Attorney General

This 12-word Declaration by 25 Mauritian personalities expresses concern at:
- the compulsory nature of the new ID card
- the fact that biometric data, including fingerprinting, is being extracted from citizens, in this context, and
- the fact that there is a whole “system” behind the ID cards.

Personalities who have signed the Declaration include:
2 Former Presidents of the Republic
2 Former Attorney Generals
2 Former MPs, one a Former Minister
Top lawyers
Renowned artists
Trade Union leaders
Renowned journalists
Women’s and consumer organizations’ leaders
Renowned grassroots social workers/education activists

Co-ordination of signature of the Declaration was done by LALIT

Background NOTE I: The ID Card is compulsory, and you have to present it to police officers on demand, as from September, 2014. You are obliged by law to present it either forthwith or as they specify:
“(1) Every person may – … where he is empowered by law to ascertain the identity of another person [e.g. police officer]…., request that other person to produce his identity card … [and the person concerned must] (a) forthwith produce his identity card to the person making the request; or (b) where he is not in possession of his identity card, produce his identity card within such reasonable period, to such person and at such place as may be directed by the person making the request.”

Background NOTE 2: The ID Card involves finger-printing technology, which is subject not only to THREE Supreme Court Challenges (Cases by Roshi Badhain & Pravind Jugnauth, M. Erickson Muneeapillay & Dr. Madhewoo, Rama Valayden & M. N. Dulloo) still in the Courts, but also a severe judgement from the Data Protection Commissioner calling on the Police to act against the Alteo bosses, as follows:

“This is a summary of the Decision of the Commissioner. [on Data Protection Office site]

… “The fact that many public and/or private organisations are using fingerprinting technology for attendance purposes because it represents a cost-effective and convenient means to record attendance should not potentially and materially undermine in any way whatsoever the right of the data subject not to consent to this method and further be prejudiced or discriminated for not conforming to it. This case illustrates the modern flow of sacrificing privacy rights at the altar of technology without understanding and measuring the negative consequences which technology can also give rise to. Technology is certainly to be used but not abused. The matter is thus referred to the police under section 20 of the Data Protection Act for prosecution against the Chief Executive Officer of Respondent No.2.” Date :17.07.2013. (Ref: DPO/COMP/17)

Background NOTE 3: The future scope of the data-base is clearly left confused by top Government spokesmen outrightly contradictions to each other. Compare these 2 declarations, one by the PMO & the other by ICT Minister:

Communique de Presse 7 octobre 2013 Bureau du Premier Minstre: “Contrairement a ce qui a été publié, ni le groupe sanguin, ni les details au sujet du paiement de la pension ou concernant le permis de conduire ne sont inclus sur la nouvelle carte d’identité . … Le Central Population Database ne comprendra pas non plus les détails au sujet du groups sanguin et des empreintes digitales. … Le bureau du Premier minstre deplore la publication de telles informations erronees et denuees de tout fondement.”

Interview of Minister TIC Pillay Chedumbrum, L’Express 12 October, 2013: “On voulait inserer des informations medicales telles que le groups sanguin et les allergies de l’individu…. [et] passer a l’autre etape. Cette dernière consistera a ajouter d’autres informations sur la carte d’identité comme celles de la carte de pension, du bus pass, du permis de conduire et meme plus tard, de la carte de santé. … “Ce n’est pas logique que la santé, l’etat civil ou autre service du gouvernment a des informations differentes sur une meme personne.”


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