First Look

Ministers of Security and Justice missing the point says G2K

G2K | 2014-08-08 00:00:00

Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party is expressing condolences to the family of Mario Deane, a 31-year-old construction worker who died while in the custody of the state at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay, and is calling on the police high command to immediately suspend the persons who were responsible for oversight of the lock-up at the time of the incident, pending investigation.

Sadly, the Ministers of National Security and Justice have both largely missed the point about the cause of this tragic event and how it can be prevented from happening to other citizens of Jamaica. What Ministers Bunting and Golding fail to understand is that it isn’t the gravity of the offense that is the issue at hand.  Instead, it is the manner in which citizens of Jamaica are treated whilst in the custody of the state.  “Based on the statement from the police high command it would appear that Mr. Deane suffered the same level of negligence that befell 16-year-old Vanessa Wint, who died while in state care at the New Horizon Adult Correctional Centre," said President Floyd Green

The organisation is chastiseing the Ministers of National Security and Justice for presiding over significant cuts to the budgets of the correctional facilities and a continued gross disregard of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which became law in 2011. As a country we must take a stand to protect our rights, even accused persons are entitled to equitable and humane treatment by any public authority in the exercise of any function.

Incidents of this nature are a horrific symptom of the lack of care provided to citizens of Jamaica while in custody.  This, at minimum, is tantamount to dereliction of duty and persons must be held accountable. “The minister must not hide behind the smoke screen of ganja law reform which in fact they have delayed and must instead tell the nation the steps being taken to protect the rights of our citizens when they enter state care" concluded Green



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