Advocate

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Kingston, Jamaica
Advocate

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Government Should Protect The Rights Of All Jamaicans

Jamaica claims to stand in solidarity with other nations in its commitment to respect and preserve human rights of all its citizens. However, I am perturbed by the fact that the fundamental human rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens are continuously hindered and violated, while the constitutional human rights of criminals and corrupt politicians are protected. In light of the current Dudus-Manatt commission of enquiry, Dorothy Lightbourne and the Government of Jamaica are strongly of the view that the terms of the US extradition request of Christopher Coke, an alleged drug and gun trafficker, breached his constitutional rights, particularly freedom of expression, privacy and freedom of conscience.
Interestingly, this is the first time in the history of Jamaica that the Government has openly defended the constitutional rights of an alleged crime lord.
On the other hand, the constant breaching of the constitutional rights of people within vulnerable communities in Jamaica is never of such great concern or priority to the Government and Jamaican society, at large. What about the rights of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS discrimination? What about the said rights of gays and lesbians living in Jamaica? What about the rights of people living with disabilities?
misplaced priority
It is clear that the constitutional rights and freedom of accused gang lords and criminals are of top priority to the Government of Jamaica, and also to ensure that they are protected by all means. Shame! Shame!
Therefore, Jamaica's faith in fundamental rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal rights of men and women is nonsensical and erroneous when a group of people or an individual is subjected to brutality and discrimination.
It is time for the Government of Jamaica to protect and preserve the human rights of ALL Jamaicans in the same way it protects the constitutional rights of reputed crime lords and criminal elements. Human rights are rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled.

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