(Jamaica Observer) – The Government has underscored its commitment to protecting the rights of all Jamaicans in the wake of mixed marks from the American State Department on its performance in that area in 2022.
In its report released on Monday, the US State Department chided the Jamaican Government for its performance in areas such as fatal shootings by members of the security forces; allegations of cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of individuals in police custody and in correctional facilities; corruption; and the treatment of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community.
But the report noted that there were no allegations of anti-Semitic acts in Jamaica in 2022; there were no reports of political prisoners or detainees; and the Government “did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content; and there were no credible reports that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority”.
Responding to the report, minister with responsibility for information Robert Morgan told the Jamaica Observer that the State Department has provided well-needed information on areas which the Government needs to look at as it moves to improve the lives of all Jamaicans.
“The Government of Jamaica continues to focus on the protection of human rights for all citizens. We are a developing country and we do have challenges, but the Government has continued to work to address these challenges to ensure that we protect the rights of every single citizen,” said Morgan.
The State Department also pointed out that there were numerous reports during 2022 that members of the security forces committed arbitrary and unlawful killings, “and there were hundreds of complaints of abuse and wrongful harm”.