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NDP condemns extrajudical punishment in SVG

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THE NEW Democratic Party (NDP) has unreservedly condemned extrajudicial punishment in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The police cannot, in their frustration over the increasing crime rate and their apparent inability to contain it, resort to beating and abusing the very public they are sworn to protect. This is a country of laws and no one individual can be judge, jury and executioner,” a release issued by the Party on Monday said.

“As more crimes are committed and the resources and expertise of the police are stretched, it would appear that members of that organization are resorting to extrajudicial punishment to garner information from suspects. We do hope however, that this is not as a result of the Minister of National Security’s pronouncement that the police are not to recite the beatitudes to suspects.”

The release said now, accusations being levelled at the Commissioner of Police, “the very head of the Service, for personally beating an accused with a baton causing him severe injuries.”

The Commissioner has denied these allegations.

“As if the foregoing were not enough, the Commissioner of Police is now accused of sexual assault by a junior member of the very institution he heads. While the NDP hold that each person is innocent until proven guilty, we nonetheless question the fact that while the Commissioner is being investigated he remains in office. It is the right thing to conduct an investigation into the accusation levelled, however, justice must not only be done it must seem to be done and while the Commissioner may undoubtedly be a man of integrity, it says little of him and the Ministry of National Security, if he remains in office during this investigation.

“We again implore anyone with information that might assist the police in their investigations to provide it to the police. We call on the police to redouble their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, and resolve other unsolved violent crimes in our country, and to respect and protect the rights of Vincentians as they do so,” the release said.

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