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JAMAICA | Patriots Support Vote To End 'Arbitrary Detentions' Under SOE

 President of The 'Patriots' Omar Newel President of The 'Patriots' Omar Newel
KINGSTON, Jamaica December 17, 2017 - The St. James arm of PNP young professionals, want the government to increase the presence of the police and military on the streets, use intelligence driven policing to arrest criminals while at the same time, extending the Zones of Special Operation, (ZOSO) to more crime plagued communities.

In a media release,  Patriots president Omar Newell praised the parliamentary opposition for 'Defending Jamaica's Constitution and Democracy, and warn the Government not to reduce security force numbers and operations across St. James out of political spite.

He said Patriots across the country wanted the JLP's Administration to build on the gains from troop saturation while it develops a sustainable crime fighting plan.

"No opposition holding country above politics could continue to endorse the State's abuse of citizens' rights in place of a comprehensive security (crime) plan.

"And for almost a year we have all witnessed the wanton and arbitrary detention of mostly young, poor and innocent Jamaicans, from low-income communities.

"Let us change the focus from attacking citizens' freedoms to attacking crime and its root causes", the Patriots' President Omar Newell said.

Making recommendations, the Patriots say they would want to see Prime Minister Andrew Holness:

1) Increase police and military saturation targeting crime,
2) Extend Zones of Special Operations to more crime plagued communities,
3) Use intelligence driven policing to arrest criminals, and
4) Work with all stakeholders to develop a consultative and comprehensive crime plan for roll out in the next fiscal year.

The Patriots understood the SOEs to be temporary conditions which should have given the Prime Minister sufficient time to deliver a sustainable plan. The group is deeply concerned that JLP MPs are rationalizing using SOEs as a 'new normal' in crime fighting, when evidence shows murders falling to as low as 1005 in 2014, without SOEs and through effective planning.

Newell says his group is of the view that, "there can be no permanent peace from maintaining an apartheid state, in which higher social classes have no reason to fear cruel detention, while poor young men have to live with this fear.

"Less than five (5) percent of those detained have been charged with a crime, and detainees are human beings with whom we all share equal constitutional demands for protection", Newell said.

The Patriots' Leader said "The PNP is right to have drawn the line to avoid Jamaica falling down another slippery slope. Across the globe as countries descend into dictatorship initial attacks are subtle and disguised, like maneuvers to hijack Parliamentary Committees and Houses, or to control Courts and Chief Justices. In 2011 Jamaica had to be rescued from near economic collapse, surely none of us want our democracy in a similar place by 2020."

  • Countries: Jamaica

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