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Church appeals for calm

Saturday, August 16, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches (JUGC) yesterday appealed for calm as it urged persons with information that can assist the police investigating the death of Mario Deane to cooperate.

Deane, who was beaten in his cell at the Barnett Street Police Station in St James on August 3, died on August 6, Independence Day, in the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

The Church said the beating Deane received in the police lock-up that led to his death was another glaring reminder that if the country is to move ahead as a people, respect for each other and an appreciation for the sanctity of life are critical pillars.

"This is especially true for those who are entrusted with the care and protection of our citizens. In that vein, we welcome the actions taken thus far by the JCF," said the church, referring to the interdiction of the six police officers who were on duty at the time Deane was beaten.

The JUGC offered condolences to Deane's family, friends and all others who have been devastated by his passing, while noting the negative impact it has had on members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The JUGC said it stood ready to support a healing process for all

those concerned.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) said yesterday that the horrendous tragedy involving Deane has been compounded by the reported treatment now befalling the three accused men and their families.

"It is completely unacceptable that attorneys were not present at the questioning of the accused, that the families of the accused are not being given access to their relatives, and that advice on the process for legal aid counsel has not been offered to the families that need this," the group said in a release.

"This entire situation is damning and shows exactly how perverse the system of protecting the welfare and rights and accounting for persons in police custody is," said the group.

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