JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says Cabinet has received no information regarding a United States (US) imposed arms embargo on the island.
  • Journalists queried whether or not the US government had invoked provisions of the Leahy Law or Leahy Amendment and the reason for the resignation of Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.
  • The Leahy Law is a US human rights law that prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says Cabinet has received no information regarding a United States (US) imposed arms embargo on the island.

“We had a Cabinet meeting on Monday (and) there was no such matter reported to the Cabinet,” Minister Falconer said in her response to questions posed by journalists during Wednesday’s (July 9) Jamaica House press briefing.

Journalists queried whether or not the US government had invoked provisions of the Leahy Law or Leahy Amendment and the reason for the resignation of Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.

“If that has in fact happened, I am sure that the Minister of National Security, at the appropriate time, will inform the Cabinet and will inform the nation. I am not aware that any such thing has occurred,” Minister Falconer added.

She stated that the Government “has nothing to hide. If there are issues, there are processes and procedures”.

“We have bilateral  arrangements and I believe at the appropriate time, if there was in fact such an action taken, the Government of Jamaica will make public whatever those are,” she added.

The Leahy Law is a US human rights law that prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.

If a unit is found to have been credibly implicated in a serious abuse of human rights, assistance is denied until the host nation’s government takes effective steps to bring the responsible persons within the unit to justice.

The Information Minister also urged members of the media fraternity not to speculate as it relates to the sudden resignation of the Commissioner Ellington.

“I think we have to be careful…There are many rumours swirling …we had a Commissioner of Police, who went into early retirement and I think because of that people want to speculate as to the reasons and the reasons are so varied and I believe we need to be careful,” she said.

Commissioner Ellington recently indicated that he would retire from his post on completion of vacation leave due to him. He proceeded on leave on Tuesday July 1, 2014.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Glenmore Hinds, has been appointed to act as Commissioner of Police, effective Tuesday, July 1, 2014, while the Police Service Commission commences the process of appointing a new Commissioner.