Jamaica: Amnesty International sends observer to Braeton Inquest

The hearing is currently taking place before the Coroner's Court, St. Catherine, Jamaica, 2002. Ivor Frank LLB., LLM. will be observing the inquest on behalf of Amnesty International for two weeks, from Monday 29 July 2002. During the period of observation, he will be reporting directly to the organisation and will not be making any statements to the media concerning his observations.

Ivor Frank LLB., LLM.is a barrister of Gray's Inn and Charter Chambers, London, England, and a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee for England and Wales.

Background

On 14 March 2001, Christopher Grant, Reagon Beckford, Curtis Smith, Andre Virgo, Dane Renaldo Whyte, Lancebert Clarke and Tamoya Wilson died after the house that they were in was raided in an operation involving an estimated 60 police officers, headed by the Crime Management Unit.

Amnesty International sent a pathologist to observe the post mortem examinations of the seven in March 2001. The pathologist observed a total of over 35 gun shots, including a close contact bullet wound to the head of Andre Virgo. Two of the bodies showed signs of beating.

Jamaica has one of the highest per capita rates of police killings in the world. Many of these constitute extrajudicial executions.

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