"Bartlett Welcomes Release of Jamaican from Prison in Qatar"

Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 15:00

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Mr. Edmund Bartlett, is today welcoming news that a Jamaican who had been languishing in prison in Qatar and subjected to abuse by other inmates has been released following his intervention as Shadow Minister.

Mr. Bartlett said: "I am delighted at Paul Stephens' release from prison in Qatar as it has brought to an end, a period of anguish and distress not only for him personally, but his family and others who feverishly made representation on his behalf.  The nation will recall that this matter came to national prominence well over a year ago, with the Government being viewed by many as not actively and effectively engaging in efforts to have him pardoned and ultimately released from prison."

Bartlett continued: "The Opposition is pleased that Mr. Stephens' release comes in the wake of our strident advocacy and pleadings on his behalf.  The Opposition Leader and I met with the Qatari Ambassador in Washington DC just a few weeks ago, as we wrapped up a series of engagements in the Diaspora recently.  We wish to thank specifically, Ambassador Mohammed Jahan Al-Kuwari for his efforts in securing Stephens' pardon, and must acknowledge the efforts of the Government and others which played a part in securing his release."

The Opposition Spokesman added: "We in the Opposition, remain resolute in our view that our  Diaspora represents the Commonwealth of Jamaica, and as such, we feel obliged to promote and cater to the safety and general well-being of Jamaicans abroad.  We remain committed to ensuring that our Consulates and overseas Missions uphold their duty of care to our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and cater to their advancement through effective and exemplary consular services."

Mr. Bartlett says while the details of Mr. Stephens' release are yet to be made public, it is likely that he will be returning to Jamaica when all matters are finalized.

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