Government to provide ID’s for persons detained during State of Public Emergency

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb. 1, CMC – The Andrew Holness led administration says that it will be providing identification (ID) cards for persons who are in need of one and have been detained during the State of Public Emergency now under way in  the western parish of St. James.
According to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, many those detained had no identification.
“We have given instruction that when we have them in detention, once they can take in their birth certificate, then we will stand the cost of getting them identification,” he said adding that upon their release “we should be able to properly identify them (and) get them engaged in a programme”.
Most of the detainees are young men between 18 and 25 years of age. “They have no skills… and having these young men in detention, the idea is not to punish; the idea is to rehabilitate,” Holness told Parliament earlier this week.
He said some have been detained on suspicion of murder, lottery scamming and outstanding warrants.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Parliament will be provided with the status of each person who has been detained, following the report of the Emergency Powers Tribunal.
“We have put in place the Emergency Powers Tribunal, and I am going to suggest to the Tribunal, through the Minister of Justice and the Ministry of National Security, that they give a report to the Governor-General. I am going to ask the Governor-General to make it available to me to bring it to Parliament about how the powers have been used and the status of each person that is detained,” he said.
He also noted that provisions have been made for additional judges in the parish and legal aid representation.
At the sitting, all 51 members of the House who were present voted in favour of the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018, which extened the State of Public Emergency in the parish of until May 2.
The State of Public Emergency was declared on January 18.

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