Security Forces have acted with Restraint – Ombudsman


Political Ombudsman, Bishop Herro Blair, has said that based on his observations, the security personnel involved in the joint military/police operations in sections of west Kingston, have acted with restraint and should be commended for the way in which they carry out their duties.
On the request of Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, Bishop Blair and the Public Defender, Earl Witter, visited Tivoli Gardens yesterday (May 25), to conduct an independent assessment of the operations being carried out by the security forces.
They had been requested to ascertain the precise number of persons who had been killed or injured.
Speaking with JIS News, today (May 26), Bishop Blair said some 500 persons, mostly men, have been detained and are being processed by the security forces.
“I think the security forces carried out their duties with restraint, with a level of professionalism, and the individuals were being processed based on international standards,” Bishop Blair said.
“They took us to places where we wanted to go, not where they wanted to take us. We observed no level of abuse. We saw no bodies being burnt. We examined the ditches, the trenches and we went into the homes,” he added.
The Ombudsman further noted that along with the Public Defender, members of the Jamaica Red Cross and members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, he went to the three locations where there were reports of fires.”The fires were extinguished, we examined the areas and found no human remains,” Bishop Blair said.
“I have no reservations in giving the security forces my full support at this time. I think all Jamaica should rally around our forces and pray for them as they carry out their duty to protect the nation,” he added.
The Government has also established a Complaints Hotline for residents to register any concerns they might have regarding the current operations in the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens. Residents are advised to call 946-1248 to register their concerns.

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