Thursday 24 January, 2019

PHOTOS: Holness says he's satisfied with SOE detention centres

Prime Minister Andrew Holness fielding questions at the end of a three-leg tour of detention centres under the states of emergency across the island, in Montego Bay on Saturday. To his left and right, respectively, are Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang and Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte; with JDF Chief of Staff, Major General Rocky Meade, at the extreme right (background).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness fielding questions at the end of a three-leg tour of detention centres under the states of emergency across the island, in Montego Bay on Saturday. To his left and right, respectively, are Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang and Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte; with JDF Chief of Staff, Major General Rocky Meade, at the extreme right (background).

In the wake of the public defender's recent report on the conditions of lock-ups where detainees are being held under the state of emergency, Prime Minister Andrew Holness toured jail cells in Denham Town, Spanish Town and Montego Bay to get a first-hand view on Saturday.

The three areas are currently under public states of emergency.

Following the third tour at the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay, St James the prime minister indicated that he was satisfied with the conditions of the holding areas, but conceded that there is room for improvement.

"So far we have seen facilities that are, I would say, generally up to standard, but clearly we could and should do more to improve the standards. So the objective of my visit is to see what else we could do to improve conditions," Holness remarked.

Holness tours SOE detention centres

He lauded members of the joint security forces for their professional conduct so far during the states of emergency and the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) across the island.

"There have been no reported cases of abuse; certainly I have not come across any. It is also clear that the police have been using the powers in such a way to ensure that they target the persons who are committing the criminal acts, and that those persons who may have been detained but are not a part of a criminal enterprise or are not committing any crime, they are released very quickly," Holness said.

He was accompanied on the Montego Bay leg of the tour by Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte; National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang; Senator Charles Sinclair; Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Donovan Graham, among others.

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