JFJ Press Release: Commissioner and Children’s Advocate Must Ensure Safety of these Children

Commissioner and Children’s Advocate Must Ensure Safety of these Children

Friday, June 21, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is calling upon the Commissioner of Police and the Office of the Children’s Advocate to ensure the safety of two children, ages 14 and 16 who were illegally detained and abused by the Morant Bay Police. The boys were held without charge for five (5) days, beaten, verbally abused and threatened in the Morant Bay Police Station.

Last October, Rayon Russell, brother of the two children was killed by the police. Since then members of the police force in St. Thomas have been reportedly harassing the family and issuing death threats to the two boys. One boy has stopped attending his school due to the constant harassment by Police officers and the fear that their threats have engendered. Both boys have gone into hiding due to the ongoing threats on their lives by the Police. These boys have not ever been charged with committing any crimes.

This matter has been reported to the Office of the Children’s Advocate and we are calling on her to exercise the full extent of her powers under the law to ensure the protection of the rights of these children including the right to be free from threats, intimidation and arbitrary detention.

We are calling on the Commissioner of Police to immediately investigate these allegations and take the necessary measures to ensure that his men are adhering to the rule of law and desist from threatening, harassing and illegally detaining these boys and their family. JFJ will be holding him personally responsible for ensuring that no harm comes to these children.