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Conduct a public enquiry into the policy of police extrajudicial killings in Jamaica now!

This petition had 221 supporters


 

Dear Mr. Terrence Williams,

Commissioner of Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM)

 For many decades the Jamaican police force has been accused by citizens and human rights bodies, local and international, of carrying out summary executions of  Jamaican citizens. 

Even to the casual observer the pattern of killings combined with numerous eyewitness accounts, make it impossible to believe that this is not what the police are doing. Equally worrying has been the inability of the justice system to convict such policemen for one reason or another.

It was on this basis that your office, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), was set up in 2010 to conduct independent investigations of these killings and to improve the record of convictions.

While we congratulate you on the diligent way in which you have undertaken this rather difficult task, we are sure that you will agree  with us that those efforts have not produced the results that the public was expecting. There has yet to be a conviction of a policeman for any of these shootout stories in quite a long time -- maybe decades.

We would like to suggest that the reason for this lies not only in the challenges you face, insufficient resources, lack of prosecutorial powers, but also because these killings are not random but planned with the involvement of senior police officers and even with a wink and a nod from the political directorate.

We recommend to you  The Sunday Gleaner story of January 19, 2014, headlined "Death Squads" (in the police force), which confirm what a wide cross section of the public already know, that  senior police officers are involved in the planning of these executions. If this is the case then it stands to reason that the odds of your office ever being effective is marginal.

We,  Jamaican citizens, and those around the world who support the universal human rights principles guaranteeing the right to life,  are demanding that you immediately convene a Public Enquiry, which is your power to do under the INDECOM Act, to enquire into and to publicly expose the nature of this state policy to commit extrajudicial killings. This is the most decisive way we believe to put a stop to the policy and to give the public  an opportunity to  decide what should be the penalties for continued violation.

We trust that based on your observations and experiences you will recognize the wisdom of taking this approach rather than run the risk of the public concluding that your office is of no use or help in putting a stop to this criminal policy.

Lloyd D'Aguilar

Movement to end Jamaica police extrajudicial killings



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