Former Jamaica PM slams US on extrajudicial killings

(Jamaica Gleaner) Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding has come out swinging against the United States, declaring that nation lacks the moral authority to cite human-rights abuses as reasons to withdraw support to the Jamaican security forces.

Golding said there was no evidence that outgoing Police Commissioner Owen Ellington was involved in such abuses or failed to take action against those who carried out extrajudicial activities.

Speaking yesterday on Power 106 FM radio talk show, ‘Cliff Hughes On-line’, the former prime minister said the US has a long history of carrying out heinous actions against other countries which are tantamount to human rights abuses.

Referring to the US as a country that has reserved on to itself “the right to dispatch drones to go and extrajudicially kill persons who it alleges to be terrorists and in the process kill civilians including children”, Golding said the US has no basis to lambaste other countries for alleged human-rights violations.

Golding stressed that these violations have largely gone unpunished.

“The numbers vary, but they have ranged between 200 and up to 1,000 persons who have been killed by drone strikes, these persons were never given their day in court, never able to say ‘no, is mistake yuh mek, is not true’,” Golding stated.

He queried further; “what right does that country have to talk to anybody else or any other country about extrajudicial killings?”

Golding said he was concerned that the international community has been silent on the recent drone strikes by the US in areas said to be linked to terrorist activities.

“The international community has sat by and said nothing and done nothing. And then they come and tell Jamaica that ‘you must remove your commissioner because we have reason to believe that the police are involved in extrajudicial killings’,” he scoffed.

He said he did not support extrajudicial killings, whether in Jamaica or elsewhere.

Golding said these incidents must be properly investigated and those found guilty should be brought to justice. He stated that it was for that reason the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) was created, during his tenure as prime minister.

In Parliament on Tuesday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting said that some Jamaican law-enforcement units had lost funding from international partners because of allegations of human-rights abuse by members of the security forces.

Earlier this month, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington shocked the nation with his sudden announcement that he would be retiring from the force.

In giving reasons for his departure, the National Security Ministry said Ellington wished to separate himself from the force ahead of the pending commission of enquiry into the 2010 operation in Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston, which left more than 70 persons dead. He also noted, his departure would prevent the perception of interference in INDECOM’s investigations into an alleged police ‘death squad’ in Clarendon.

Ellington’s spokesman, Howard Mitchell, subsequently claimed that, though he was not pushed out of office, pressure from the US influenced the police commissioner’s decision to leave.

 

default placeholder

No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

default placeholder

Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou

Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese container ship hit a wall of the new lane of the Panama Canal, a Canal Authority official and a local ship agent said yesterday, the third such incident since the expanded waterway opened one month ago amid design concerns.

default placeholder

Little enforcement of Jamaica Tobacco Control Act douses its relevance

(Jamaica Observer) It has existed on Jamaican law books for three years now, but the one-time much heralded Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations Act 2013, seems to have virtually gone up in smoke.

default placeholder

Big battle set for key Clico beachfront property in T&T

(Trinidad Guardian) Battle for No Man’s Land. That is what is shaping up on all fronts—from Government to the Clico owners of the property—as the spotlight continues to increase on one of the last pristine pieces of beachfront in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Died at hospital:
Isaiah Hospedales

T&T student killed for gold chain

(Trinidad Express) A 22-year-old man’s decision to wear a large gold chain while liming with friends on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook cost him his life early Saturday morning when he was ambushed, shot and killed for his jewelry.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: