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JLP questions PM's silence on Mario Deane's death

Saturday, August 16, 2014    

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OPPOSITION spokesman on justice and legal reform, Senator Alexander Williams, yesterday questioned the silence of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mario Deane while in the custody of the State.

"The prime minister's silence is unacceptable, and to label her silence as a mere leadership style is just not good enough," Williams said in a release yesterday. Deane's tragic death, he said, has enraged Jamaicans at home and abroad, several of whom have been moved to speak out and protest, yet the country's leader is silent on the matter.

He noted that by contrast the shooting death of a black teenager by the police in Missouri, United States, elicited prompt condemnation from President Barack Obama, even though he is on vacation.

Said Williams: "The circumstances under which Mario died warrant condemnation or comment from Jamaica House. New concerns have also arisen almost daily since, including the treatment of mentally ill persons by the State. How can she (prime minister) not be moved by the cries of not only Mario's mother, but the mothers of the men charged? The prime minister must state her position on human rights and protection of the poor."

The Opposition, said Williams, would continue to watch the investigation closely as it continues to demand compensation for Deane's family, the placement of closed-circuit cameras at all police lock-ups, and greater protection of the human rights of Jamaicans.

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