Justice Minister Issues Warning to Gunmen

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‘Gunmen better start running’

Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, sounded this warning this afternoon, as he launched an impassioned defence of the government’s Zone of Special Operations and Community Development Bill.

Debate on the crime fighting bill is now underway in the House of Representatives.

Minister Chuck opened the debate in the House on the bill which has been heavily criticized by the Parliamentary Opposition.

As he made the case, Mr. Chuck said, for too long, gunmen have wreaked havoc and murdered Jamaicans, including women and children, with impunity.

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Mr. Chuck says the Zones of Special Operations bill is a signal to thugs that the Holness-administration is ready to call time on their murderous rampage.

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The Justice Minister chided people whom he says have speaking about the bill but haven’t read it.

He says once such person is PNP General Secretary and Opposition MP, Julian Robinson.

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Mr. Chuck says the government has consulted with all the main stakeholders. He says as Justice Minister he’d not allow anyone to exploit the bill to abuse the human rights of Jamaicans.

As he pushed for passage of the bill, Mr. Chuck referred Opposition MPs to comments made yesterday at a parliamentary committee by former PNP General Secretary, Paul Burke.

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In the meantime, Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, says the Opposition maintains its concerns about the Bill.

He says among the concerns is that the bill proposes to give a member of the political directorate the authority to tell the security forces to conduct an operation in a particular community.

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Mr. Bunting is still on his feet in Gordon House making his contribution to debate on the bill which has generated widespread debate nationally.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.