Gov’t Approved State of Emergency to Continue until May 2, 2018

State of Emergency to Continue
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Jamaican News, February 2, 2018

St. James, Jamaica (JIS)State of Emergency to Continue: Members of the Senate yesterday (February 1) approved the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018, which will extend the State of Public Emergency in St. James until May 2, 2018.

All 15 members of the Senate who were present voted unanimously in favour of the motion. Six members were absent.

On Tuesday, January 30, the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018 was approved in the House of Representatives.

The State of Public Emergency was announced and declared in St. James on January 18 by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

State of Emergency to continue: on January 18, the Governor-General, by Proclamation, declared that a State of Public Emergency exists in the parish of St. James, and further declared that the said Proclamation shall, unless previously revoked, remain in force for 14 days or for such longer period, not exceeding three months, as both Houses of Parliament may determine by a Resolution, supported by a two-thirds majority of all members of each House.

Addressing the Senate, Leader of Government Business and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said more time is necessary, not only to reduce the risk of flare-ups at the end of the state of emergency but to build intelligence and address not only the perpetrators but also the facilitators of crime.

“It will take time to take back St. James and Jamaica, but together as a people, we can do it,” the Minister said.

She thanked the citizens who have used the confidential lines to share information and encouraged others to continue doing so by dialling 837-8888 or 311.

“If you have information about guns or wanted men or suspicious people in your community since the declaration of the state of emergency, you can and should call,” she said.

State of Emergency to Continue: Senator Johnson Smith commended the security forces for executing their duties in a commendable way, adding that they are being meticulous and accountable in how they operate.

She added that, to date, no formal human rights complaints have been received. “This is a clear credit to the security forces and the systems of accountability put in place to secure the rights of citizens. The system is working,” she said.

State of Emergency to Continue: during the State of Public Emergency, the security forces will have the power to search, curtail operating hours of business, restrict access to places and detain persons without a warrant. It also gives them power to stop and question persons and power to seize property. It allows them to control public gatherings and control movements.


Photo: Rudranath Fraser
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith addresses yesterday (February 1) sitting of the Senate.

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