Online petition started for Chuck's removal

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Online petition started for Chuck's removal

Sunday, June 28, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — An online petition has been launched calling for Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck to resign from his position following his remarks during a discussion on the sexual harassment Bill at last Thursday's sitting of the joint select committee.

During the sitting, Chuck commented on the proposed time period within which a non-criminal sexual harassment complaint can be made.

“We don't want the situation that now happens in the 'Me Too' movement in the US where 30 years later you talk about 'I was harassed in the elevator'. No, if you don't complain within 12 months, please, please, cut it out.” The minister chuckled while making the comment.

He has since received public backlash and Jamaicans have been calling for him to step down.

Chuck has dismissed the display as a part of his “jovial” personality and yesterday issued an apology.

“When I queried what time limit would be appropriate, I made remarks about the #METOO movement. I unreservedly apologise to anyone who found my remarks inappropriate, as I never intended to disrespect the #METOO movement or to diminish the seriousness of the emotional trauma caused by sexual harassment, but on reflection I understand the concerns raised by members of the public,” the minister said yesterday.

Read more:I unreservedly apologise, says Chuck

However, the petition charged that, “The minister's response to well-deserved backlash was an action-less public apology in which he deflected accountability and made no plans to remove, or at least, extend the statute of limitations for reporting assault.”

It said that due to Chuck's “inappropriate language that perpetuates a dangerous stigma of victim blaming”, the public demands that he resigns from his position as minister of justice.

“Jamaica's most vulnerable communities should not have to rely on a representative who refuses to enact change to champion their rights due to ignorance. Shifting Chuck's portfolio is not a viable method of change - his rhetoric and beliefs will seep into yet another essential facet of Parliament. Chuck's ministerial reappointment poses a direct threat to victims' rights,” the petition charged.

The petition, created less than a day ago, is addressed to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Olivia Grange and the justice minister himself.

It has so far received over 300 signatures.The petition can be accessed here.

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