Nelson lauds Jamaicans for Justice

Published: Monday | May 11, 2009

Monsignor Richard Albert (left) tickles the funny bone of Senator Dwight Nelson and JFJ Executive Director Carolyn Gomes outside the St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Minister of National Security Senator Dwight Nelson has praised Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) for a decade of sterling defence against human rights abuses in the northern Caribbean island.

"We can't deny that they have taken up an important call for persons, some of whom weren't even aware of the constitutional or basic human rights," Nelson said Sunday.

"When you were just formed, many were of the prediction that you weren't here to stay, but you stuck to the cause and with hard work and dedication you proved them wrong," he added

The minister was addressing hundreds of congregants who turned out at the St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Spanish Town, St Catherine, to celebrate Jamaicans for Justice's 10th anniversary.

He applauded JFJ for its significant contribution to the rights of Jamaicans and encouraged the members not to become weary.

Monsignor Richard Albert, episcopal vicar of St Catherine, said Sunday that attaining justice for all everyone was a major plank of creating a crime-free society.

He implored Jamaicans not to depend wholly on the security forces but to play their part in countering the wave of violence nationwide.

Fight as a group

"Jamaica's constabulary and defence teams can't do it alone but if everyone does it as a group, we can fight the menace of crime," said Albert.

Jamaicans for Justice, which particularly tackles cases involving allegations of state abuse, has led campaigns in a number of high-profile cases, including that of Janice Allen, a 13-year-old girl who was killed controversially in a crossfire between police and gunmen in April 2000. The director of public prosecutions recently ruled that the acquitted policeman will not be retried.