JIS News

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  • Minister of National Security the Hon. Peter Bunting, MP notes the public statement released by Amnesty International on Wednesday, July 24.
  • The Government of Jamaica is committed to transparency and accountability, and to investigating all allegations of abuses by the security forces.
  • Any group concerned about the preservation of Human Rights must recognize that it would have been highly improper for a Minister of National Security to disclose information on the matter.

Jamaican Government committed to transparency and accountability in operations of the Security Forces

Minister of National Security the Hon. Peter Bunting, MP notes the public statement released by Amnesty International on Wednesday, July 24; its assertion that the Minister “refused to disclose information on an investigation into allegations of human rights violations by the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF)”, and its call for the Government to “disclose any information related to allegations of human rights violations”.

The Government of Jamaica is committed to transparency and accountability, and to investigating all allegations of abuses by the security forces. We have appointed a Commission of Enquiry into the May 2010 West Kingston operation, and fully support the investigations of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) currently underway regarding allegations of police excesses in Clarendon; two cases of high public interest. Any group concerned about the preservation of Human Rights must recognize that it would have been highly improper, prejudicial, and an abuse of process for a Minister of National Security to disclose information on matters which are a) currently the subject of investigation by an independent body, and b) presently before the courts.

As with any other investigation and enquiry, reports will be released publicly once the work of investigators is complete.

The Government’s pursuit of transparency and accountability within the JCF is unwavering. In 2012, the Government introduced a revised Use of Force policy, and has insisted on its island wide implementation. Year to date, police fatal shootings have decreased by 45 per cent compared to 2013. We have also supported the Anti-Corruption Branch, an internal JCF unit dedicated to investigating allegations of police corruption and misconduct.

We remain steadfast in our efforts to improve the human rights record of the JCF, and realise that change will take time and sustained action. We invite all human rights organisations to continue to track our progress in this regard, while we continue to insist that as we investigate allegations, due process and the rule of law be respected.