“Human rights issues are connected to everything” – Saeed Hamid

January 12, 2020 | | Post a Comment

first_imgBy Lakhram BhagiratMother Theresa famously said, “Human rights are not a privilege conferred by Government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign… you must weep that your own Government, at present, seems blind to this truth.” Guyana just got its newest fighter to preserve the rights of every human being in new Attorney Saeed Hamid.Saeed Abdool Hamid, Class of 2015, Bachelor of Law, University of Guyana (UG)New Attorney Saeed Abdool Hamidand Guyana’s top graduating student from the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad, in 2017, is now the newest addition to the local Bar. He was admitted to the Bar before Justice Simone Morris Ramlall on Friday after he would have completed his Masters in Laws (LLM) in International Human Rights at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom.During his inaugural address to the court, Hamid said this day has been in the making ever since his first debating competition at St Rose’s High School. For him, the day of his admittance to the Bar has been on his mind ever since he graduated HWLS last year.“The day I can finally say, I made it as a member of the legal fraternity of Guyana. When you attend law school, your goal is not to graduate at the top of your class, your goal is to survive the experience. The long, gruelling nights of reading, hard work, assignments and the anxiety of results – An experience that I am sure will not be too alien to the path ahead of me,” the young attorney said.He said after he graduated HWLS and decided to pursue his Masters, everyone thought it would be in the area of oil and gas, since it is the only thing most of Guyana is talking about but he decided to devote his time to protecting and advancing the human rights of everyone. His love for human rights protection came while in law school as he served on the Human Rights Committee and the Human Rights specialist Clinic where he did extensive work on domestic violence.Hamid was able to graduate HWLS with the coveted Guyana Government Prize for the Best Performance by a Student from Guyana and copped several other awards, such as The Book Specialist Prize, the Ronnie Boodoosingh Human Rights Prize and was one of two Guyanese students to make it to the Principal’s Roll of Honour. His excellent academic achievement only prepared him for the hard work at the University of Aberdeen where he achieved straight As in his programme and would be graduating First Class Honours in November.“I will look to the law as an instrument to advocate fairness, justice, and equality. I will look to the law to fight for the interest of youths and minorities. I will look to the law to respectfully and effectively articulate the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Guyana,” Hamid said.He said he feels a sense of overwhelming accomplishment for all he has achieved over the past three years.“I chose human rights law because of how connected it is to many spheres of society and I even studied oil and gas in Scotland. The environment and social issues associated with oil and gas and how they are intrinsic in human rights issues and that goes to show you how connected human rights are and I hope to apply that in my long-term goal,” he noted.Expounding on his long-term goals, Hamid said he will be pushing for legislative reforms and policy changes in order to bring local laws more in conformity with International Human Rights Standards but for now he will be dabbling in criminal law as he seeks to plant his feet firmly on the ground.“I want to promote a sense of fairness and bring back simplicity to this profession because a lawyer is supposed to be known as an agent of change and that is something I want to commit to. I am big on juvenile justice because there shouldn’t be heavy penalties for juvenile delinquents and it is very important as well because you have to understand why youths are involved in these things and not just throw heavy penalties at them or throw them in the hard system where they come out much worse,” Hamid explained.His work is also expected to encompass the minority since he feels that, particularly the LGBT community needs more representation. Their basic human rights are being trampled on and he is not in a position to aid in bringing about the change that is necessary to further enhance the rights of the minority community.He also see himself contributing to the booming oil and gas sector since there are human rights issues closely connected to that sector as well.For now, the newly minted attorney will focus on establishing himself as a power player within the local legal fraternity before he goes about fighting for changes he so desires.last_img

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