Rights group calls for clarification on visiting protocol for attorneys

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Rights group calls for clarification on visiting protocol for attorneys

Sunday, July 05, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Human rights group Stand Up for Jamaica says it is concerned that the newly imposed visiting protocol in correctional facilities is hindering access to legal assistance by vulnerable inmates.

In a statement, the group said since the release of George Williams, the attorney engaged by the group has faced certain bureaucratic obstacles in his bid to work with other inmates to have their cases addressed.

“The prison superintendent has to now seek clearance from the Ministry of National Security (MNS) for the attorney to gain access and must also now inform the MNS which inmate is being visited by the attorney,” the statement added.

The group said this protocol placed an “unnecessary barrier” in the way of providing legal representation for inmates. The group called on the Government to clarify the protocol for attorneys visiting their clients and whether it applies to all attorneys.

It said it viewed the measure as a “targeted and sinister approach to hindering work to seek justice for inmates, particularly those that are mentally ill and have been languishing in prison for years without a trial”.


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