Statement No 22 September 28 2012
Subject: Beddoes says to Regime spokesperson Sharon-Jones Smith that attacking Shamima Ali does not absolve the authorities from its responsibility
UPP Leader Mick Beddoes says it is Sharon Smith Johns is who is out of touch with reality, not Shamima Ali and attacking Shamima Ali for her statements on the issue of ‘excessive force’ does not absolve the authorities from its responsibilities in the matter.
Beddoes said in a statement today that ‘attacking Shamima Ali for her stated position on the excessive use of force on the escapees’ will not absolve the authorities of its responsibilities in the matter and it is Sharon Smith-Jones who is ‘out of touch’ with reality.
Beddoes said it is the Police and Prisons departments are responsible for keeping prisoners in jail, so it is the police and prisons who must take responsibility for the ‘escape’ and it the Police and Prisons department who are responsible for the recapturing the escapees.
If the Police had seen fit to abrogate its responsibility to the military, then they must explain to the people why they felt this was necessary?
What happened, how did they escape in the first place, which official authorized the level of force to be used in their recapture? Why was the military roped into what is essentially a police and prisons area of responsibility, these are the questions people are asking and these are the questions Sharon-Jones Smith needs to answer without distorting the ‘truth’ with deflective attacks on people like Shamima Ali.
Everyone citizen, despite his or her station in life, has a right to life, and must not be arbitrarily deprived of life, our 1997 constitution provides for this under the Bill of Rights and I do not expect the provisions in the planned new constitution to erode in any way the rights of our citizens.
Sec 25 (1) says, every citizen has the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental or emotional, and from cruel, inhumane, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment’ this includes prisoners or escaped prisoners.
Beddoes said he did not condone their alleged actions since escaping, and sympathizes with those people who have been traumatized by their alleged actions, but their actions do not justify the brutality meted out by the authorities in their recapture.
Beddoes said that as angry as one might be against the escapees, and the alleged violent actions they conducted, we cannot and must not forfeit our sense of humanity because they are human beings too and they have the same rights as the rest of us.
For the authorities to have had to resort to such excessive force to recapture the handful of escapees, even when the authorities would have had a huge advantage in terms of manpower, weapons and other resources at their disposal, compared to the relatively lightly armed escapees, says more about the authorities inability to deal with such situations despite their advantage, then it does about threat that the escapees really posed at the time of recapture?
If there is anyone in authority who is able to show leadership, responsibility and transparency in this matter, now’s a good time to step up and start telling us the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
Authorized By Mick Beddoes