"The Prime Minister Must End Her Silence" - Senator Alexander Williams

Opposition Spokesman on Justice & Legal Reform, Senator Alexander Williams, has questioned the silence of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mario Deane while in State custody.

Senator Williams said “The tragic nature of Mario’s death has enraged Jamaicans at home and abroad. Jamaicans of all walks of life have been moved to speak out and protest.  The Prime Minister’s silence is unacceptable, and to label her silence as a mere leadership style is just not good enough.”

He noted that by contrast the death of a black teenager in Missouri had elicited prompt condemnation from the President of the United States even though he is on his vacation. “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 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.' He said.

Senator Williams said that the Jamaica Labour Party is commending the members of the community where Mario Deane lived, social media activists, and members of civil society such as Citizens Actions for Principle and Integrity (CAPI), the Jamaica Bar Association, the Independent Jamaica Council of Human Rights and the principal of the University of the West Indies among others who have forcefully denounced this recent tragedy and made recommendations for action. He said the Jamaica Labour Party would continue to watch the investigation closely as it continues to demand compensation for Mr. Deane, the placement of closed-circuit cameras at all police lock-ups and greater protection of the human rights of Jamaicans.