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JIS News

Public Defender, Earl Witter, is advising persons in and around the West Kingston community, who witnessed or experienced excesses on the part of the security forces during the recent civil unrest in West Kingston, to visit or call the recently established post at the Tivoli Gardens community centre to air their complaints.
“We have established offices temporarily in Tivoli Gardens to receive complaints for the ease and convenience of residents of that community and Denham Town, because we have received complaints of police excesses and other atrocities,” Mr. Witter told JIS News.
He said that investigations have already begun and encouraged persons to visit or call to schedule appointments. The numbers to call are: 922-7109 or 922-8256.
To ensure ease of access and to avoid jamming of the telephone lines, Mr. Witter said that only persons, who reside outside of Tivoli Gardens, should call the numbers to be interviewed or to schedule appointments. Interviews, he informed, will be conducted at the community centre or at the Public Defender’s office on Harbour Street.
He implored residents inside Tivoli Gardens to visit the community centre to schedule interviews.
“What we are doing is discharging our statutory functions to investigate these complaints to determine whether or not the law enforcement arm of the state, the (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and/or JDF (Jamaica Defence Force) has infringed any legal and or constitutional right of any citizen in the purported exercise of their state of emergency powers,” Mr. Witter stated.
The Office of the Public Defender, he explained, “is an independent commission of Parliament mandated to investigate governmental maladministration and to protect and enforce constitutional rights, in particular, the fundamental rights and freedoms of our people, including the right to life, and the protection against arbitrary arrest, save during periods of public emergency.”