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Watch your language! JFJ warns Gov't ministers

Published:Wednesday | July 17, 2013 | 6:12 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



Human rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is cautioning the Government to be careful in its condemnation of an online petition highlighting the plight of Jamaican children in conflict with the law.




In a joint statement today, the Youth Minister, Lisa Hanna; National Security Minister, Peter Bunting and Justice Minister, Mark Golding, described the JFJ’s petition as disingenuous, dishonest, and dangerous and said it was designed to damage Jamaica’s reputation.



But JFJ’s executive director, Dr Carolyn Gomes says the accusations could provide cause for the human rights group to take legal action as she insists the online petition is factually grounded.



She says the response from the Government confirms that the Administration has not addressed the issues raised in the petition.



The Government ministers say the JFJ has been in opposition mode, tearing down efforts to improve the condition of children after refusing to participate in a taskforce of volunteers to address children’s issues.



But Gomes says the JFJ withdrew from the group as there was too much focus on public relations and the revision of reports already studied despite suggestions to change the operation of the taskforce.



She says the JFJ has never set out to embarrass any government in its 14-year existence and that it only wants to ensure that the governments live up to their responsibility to protect vulnerable Jamaicans.



Meanwhile the Government ministers say the Attorney General's office is reviewing the petition to see if any sanctions are applicable.



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