Sat | Sep 21, 2019

Children as young as 14 held

Published:Thursday | May 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Attorney-at-law Tom Tavares-Finson says juveniles detained by the security forces in the ongoing operation in Tivoli Gardens feel as if Jamaicans have abandoned them.

Tavares-Finson, along with fellow counsel George Soutar, has expressed deep concern about the situation under which juveniles detained are being housed.

"While the conditions under which they are being held are obviously temporary, their basic needs appear to have been addressed by the authorities and their processing has begun," the attorneys said in a media release yesterday.

The security forces have detained more than 260 persons in Tivoli Gardens following their incursion into the heavily blockaded west Kingston community.

The attorneys said at least 17 juveniles were being kept in the general population of adult detainees and expressed worry that a number of captives were either injured or in need of medical assistance.

"Some of them have complained that they have missed exams," Tavares-Finson told The Gleaner. He also said that juveniles as young as 14 years old have been detained.

Tavares-Finson, who only weeks ago represented Christopher 'Dudus' Coke - whose arrest warrant triggered the might of the military to be unloaded on Tivoli - had warned last week that there might be mass casualties if the security forces attacked the community.

Humanitarian intervention

Meanwhile, the attorneys have requested humanitarian intervention from the relevant organisations to assist in meeting the basic amenities.

Tavares-Finson also said there will be the need for a full investigation into the invasion and has suggested that the director of public prosecutions may have a role to play.

"What is ominous is that 10 persons have been killed to every one gun found, and that is going to raise eyebrows," the attorney said.

"Some sort of accounting has to start now, and the press cannot allow evidence to be swept away," he added.