2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


763. By letter dated 2 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information regarding Richard Williams who was reported to have been shot dead by police on 8 June 2001 in Spanish Town, near Kingston, after having been beaten. It is alleged that his mother arrived at her son's workplace after hearing screams. She was allegedly beaten. It is reported that the national human rights organisation Families Against State Terrorism (FAST) visited the scene of the killing shortly after it took place. The killing is thought to be under investigation by police officers from the Bureau of Special Investigations, charged with investigations into all cases of shooting by police officers. It was feared that the investigation into the incident might be undermined by attempts by police officers to intimidate and harass members of Richard Williams’ family. On 6 August 2001, two members of Richard William’s family were arrested and detained at Hunts Bay police lock-up, Kingston, along with several other young men. In particular, Williams’ nephew, Levan Linton, was reportedly beaten and subsequently held in incommunicado detention. It is alleged that William's sister, Angella Dick, was also arrested when she came to the police station to find out why her son had been arrested. Police officers allegedly hit her with their rifle butts and threw her out. It is reported that police refused to say why the men had been arrested and that lawyers and representatives from FAST, who arrived to provide legal assistance to the men, were also harassed and ill-treated.

764. By letter dated 17 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur reminded the Government of a number of cases transmitted in 1998, 2000 and 2001 regarding which no reply had been received.

Urgent appeals

765. On 17 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Kaydeen Brown, a 19-year-old pregnant woman, Ian Mundel, Jermaine Wilson, “Copper”, and other residents of Duhaney Park, Kingston. Police and soldiers had reportedly cordoned off the Duhaney Park district of the capital, Kingston, on 9 April 2002, and had raided a number of homes, killing Michael Scarlett in an alleged extrajudicial execution. It was believed that Michael Scarlett was forced onto his bed and shot, however the police are said to have claimed that they had shot him after he had opened fire on them. They reportedly beat and arrested his girlfriend, Kaydeen Brown, and charged her with possession of firearms, in an apparent attempt to intimidate her so that she does not testify about the killing. The police is furthermore said to have arrested other residents, namely Ian Mundel, Jermaine Wilson and a man known by the name of "Copper". The arrests are believed to be in retaliation for the killing of a police officer Basil Black, who was reportedly shot in the head when he responded to an emergency call in Duhaney Park on 6 April, and the wounding of his colleague PC Kevon Chambers. Kaydeen Brown was first said to have been held in a severely overcrowded cell in Hunts Bay police station with no access to medical attention. She was now said to be held in incommunicado detention at Metcalf Remand Centre, in Kingston. Many local people have been severely beaten by police.

766. By letter of 12 June 2002, the Government responded that the Bureau of Special Investigations was currently investigating the police operations in the Duhaney Park community on 9 April 2002. The preliminary report stated that during the search of wanted men and illegal firearms, a police officer shot Michael Scarlett in self-defence, who subsequently died at Kingston Public Hospital. An illegal firearm was found on the deceased. His common-law spouse was detained at the Duhaney Park police station where she was charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. She was then moved to the Hunts Bay police station and remanded at the Metcalfe Street Remand Centre for women. In an interview with the Bureau of Special Investigations, she denied having been beaten or removed naked from the home of the deceased. She is currently on bail and was due to appear in court on 24 May 2002. The investigation is ongoing. There is no confirmation that Ian Mundel, Jermaine Wilson or a person known as “Copper” were arrested or had complained.

767. On 26 July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on behalf of Dave Beckford, who had reportedly been beaten and threatened by police. He is the brother of Reagon Beckford, who was allegedly killed by police officers in March 2001. The police officers were allegedly trying to intimidate the family of Reagon Beckford, to prevent them from pursuing their quest for justice. On 23 July 2002, a Senior Superintenden, head of the Crime Management Unit, who was due to give evidence at an inquest in relation to this death and an estimated 30 other police officers, some of whom were attached to the Hundred Man Police Station, reportedly entered the home of the Beckford family in Braeton. Police officers allegedly beat Dave Beckford on the chest, face and testicles, and choked him. A human rights organization complained on behalf of the Beckford family to the Commissioner of Police. It was alleged that relatives of other persons killed along with Reagon Beckford have also been subject to intimidation and threats.


768. The Special Rapporteur notes with concern that no response has been provided to cases brought to the attention of the Government since 1998.

Back to Contents
Italy Japan

small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.