JIS News

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator A. J. Nicholson, has stated that the government does not support unlawful killings by the security forces and has chided human rights lobby group, Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), for its recent assertion that the government was covering up police killings.
“The administration of which I am a member does not and will not support killings that are undertaken outside of the ambit of the laws of Jamaica. If the state turns a blind eye to unlawful killings – under the colour of law, this will only drive the society into the arms of lawlessness,” he stated at a function in Westmoreland on Thursday (Nov.11) to hand over official seals to Justices of the Peace in the parish. The ceremony was held at the Catholic Church Hall in Savanna-La-Mar.
Senator Nicholson pointed out that, “even as we rely on members of the security forces to safeguard our personal freedoms, we are determined to ensure that the proper judicial procedures are followed when such allegations are brought against representatives of the state.
“Killings by the police and by soldiers are justified only when done in self-defence or in any of the other circumstances permitted by law”, he stressed.
Jamaicans for Justice, in a recent report to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), stated that the police are rarely prosecuted for unjustifiable killings, even with strong evidence and pointed to a number of weaknesses in the justice system.
Senator Nicholson noted that such reports by the JFJ, could serve the country no good, as they only serve to encourage those “who would ply their murderous trade of death and destruction. They are buoyed by such assertions coming particularly from persons whose main mission is to ferret out indiscretions on the part of the security forces”.
He observed that there was also an illogical underpinning to the statement and asked the question, “How could a government have a policy of collusion with state functionaries to carry out wrongs against the citizens of the country, knowing fully well that it is going to cost the government and tax-payers millions of dollars every year to compensate for such wrong doings?”
The Attorney General stated that the right to life demanded vigilance on all sides, including circumspection on the part of human rights lobby groups and called for their support in “beating back the awesome challenge presented by the few dangerous members of society, who would wish to see the state sink into the abyss of a murderous culture.”

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