Sun | Mar 26, 2023

Whose rights are protected?

Published:Sunday | March 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

A most interesting situation has occurred with the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke extradition case. The prime minister has loudly declared that Jamaicans have "constitutional rights that do not end at Liguanea". The method of attaining evidence against Coke, we are told, was illegal, and it is on these grounds that the extradition has not been granted. How interesting!

The prime minister must be admired and lauded, not derided for upholding the Constitution and the rights of the Jamaican people.

There are a few questions I would like to ask Mr Golding, however.

Was the Constitution being upheld when you had as many as four members of parliament sitting in the legislature illegally on account of the fact that they had sworn allegiance to a foreign power?

Please tell us, where was your defence of constitutional rights when the 23 girls at Armadale were cooped up in a small room by the Department of Correctional Services, resulting in seven of these girls dying from a fire, started by an agent of the State (according to the findings of the sole commissioner)? And, I don't hear much being said about the constitutional rights of other prisoners in state remand centres and police lock-ups.

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, on his recent visit, spoke about how the prisons are "overcrowded, lack sanitary facilities, and any meaningful opportunities for rehabilitation". I have not heard you respond to such allegations with the same vim and gusto with which you defended the 'rights' of your West Kingston constituent.

Was the Constitution not breached when the Public Service Commission was fired by you for not choosing the person you wanted as the solicitor general? What about the constitutional rights of those respected commissioners who had served on the Police Service Commission across administrations, and had their reputations sullied as a result of your actions?

The entire Jamaica is appalled that you hold us with such contempt to use constitutional rights to protect someone accused of criminality, a suspected criminal and known don.

I am, etc.,


Kingston 5