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Opposition refutes Prime Minister’s statement that new legislation curtailing Civil Liberties was drafted under the previous Government

Opposition refutes Prime Minister’s statement that new legislation curtailing Civil Liberties was drafted under the previous Government

The Opposition People’s National Party is challenging the statement made by the Prime Minister in Parliament yesterday, that his new legislation that will authorise the security forces to search places, vehicles or persons within specific areas without a warrant, was drafted under the previous government.

The Opposition is disturbed that the Prime Minister has falsely attributed this legislation to the former government, as if he is seeking to divest himself and his government of responsibility for what will transpire in its wake.

The Opposition is placing on record that this legislation, which will provide for so-called “Zones of Special Operations” in which basic civil liberties are curtailed, is entirely the creature of this JLP Government. It was neither conceptualised, approved nor developed by the previous PNP administration.

It is clear that this Government is determined to traverse, once again, the failed pathways of the past, by pursuing measures that restrict important safeguards designed to protect the people from excessive and arbitrary use of state power.

Jamaica was forewarned of this dangerous turn in July last year, when the Attorney-General told Parliament that some of the fundamental rights and freedoms which are guaranteed to Jamaicans “may have to be abrogated, abridged or infringed”.