In reacting to the soaring crime wave of about 6 deaths per day, there have been various persons calling for strong, if not unusual steps to be taken to stop the murders in Jamaica.
The talk about suspension of civil liberties, albeit temporarily is scary. There is a sordid history of abuse by the security forces as they have trampled on the human rights of citizens. You will recall that PM Holness, as promised, issued a public apology in Parliament recently to Rastas and committed to pay out 10 million Jamaican dollars as compensation for an incident of police excesses which happened right there in the out skirts of Montego Bay that occurred in 1963 at Coral Gardens in the said parish St. James. A state of emergency has the potential for an abuse of human rights.
In our perspective this madness of wanton killings must stop but law abiding citizens must not unduly suffer for the criminals. We need better intelligence by the police.
It was late 2015 or early 2016 that gunmen using Ak47s shot up a JLP political Rally while then Opposition Leader now PM Holness was addressing a massive crowd in the city centre better known as Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay. This gun attack was believed to have been an apparent assassination attempt that was being made on the life of Andrew Holness. He was actually at the podium addressing the rally when shots rang out from Ak 47s killing one and injuring at least two persons. He was whisked to safety unhurt.
We are weary to support a State of Emergency, even if limited. Our security forces cannot be trusted to act responsibly with so much power. Can they? Let us get your feedback. This is our perspective.
Hopeton O’CONNOR-DENNIE is SENIOR international correspondent for Vision Newspaper