Jamaica: Attorney General warns security forces

ST JAMES, St James — Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte has warned members of the security forces that she will be paying close attention to ensure that they do not abuse the rights of civilians.

Malahoo Forte, who is also the member of Parliament for St James West Central, was speaking earlier at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, during the third in a series of islandwide townhall meetings put on by Security Minister Robert Montague.

“I assure you sir (security minister) that in my role as member of Parliament I will ensure that all cooperation is provided to the security forces. But I say to the security forces also, in my role as member of Parliament and as attorney general, I will be watching vigilantly how the security forces carrry out their work in this challenging environment.

“I know SSP (Steve) McGregor understands my own view that the police — and commissioner, you may be hearing it for the first time – are not entitled to break the law in their efforts to uphold the law, not entitled to abuse the rights of our citizens, however challenging the circumstances will be,” the attorney general warned.

“So as we dialogue together, as we cooperate, and as we look for solutions, in my dual roles, I certainly will be looking out to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected… our constititional rights that are guaranteed, are protected.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is also in attendance at the public forum currently under way.