JCSC Petition to Parliament for an Interim Report on Tivoli/West Kingston Incursion
The May 2010 operations by security forces in Tivoli/West Kingston, resulted in the deaths of over 70 people. The Office of the Public Defender has carried out an investigation and to date a report has not been presented to the Parliament and the citizens of Jamaica. The victims, families of victims and the country on a whole need answers.
Given that the Office of the Public Defender is a Commission of the Parliament; and, given that at his press conference of November 19, 2012, the Public Defender gave no timeline for the completion and submission to Parliament of an interim or final report on the investigations, and cited a lack of human and other resources to enable any more timely completion of a report:
We, the undersigned, therefore petition the Parliament to immediately ensure the Office of the Public Defender is given the requisite capacity, and is formally called on, to complete and furnish, at minimum, an interim report on the investigations on or before January 31, 2013.
While respectful of the independence of the Office of the Public Defender, we make this petition to the Parliament mindful of the following.
• The Tivoli Gardens/West Kingston incursion of May 2010 resulted in the deaths of more than seventy Jamaicans, the largest number of citizens killed in an operation carried out by the State since the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865.
• Families of persons who were killed have been denied answers, closure and justice as appropriate for more than two and a half years since the event.
• The delay in a report on the forensic investigations of the Office of the Public Defender stands as an indictment on the Jamaican State.
The continuing lack of resolution surrounding this matter is a denial of justice and undermines the best interest of the affected families, communities and the country as a whole.
We call on the Parliament to acknowledge the enormity of the events, to discharge its moral obligation to ensure a full enquiry and explanation to the people of Jamaica and to ensure timely restitution as may be deemed appropriate.
Jamaica Civil Society Coalition