Jamaica: 'Dead men tell no tales' - BBC documentary, an indictment of the Jamaican policing system

The programme investigates the police killings of seven young men in Braeton on 14 March 2001 and of Janice Allen, shot by a police officer in April 2000, Richard Williams, beaten and shot to death by police officers on 8 June 2001, and Michael Gayle, beaten to death by army and police officers on 21 August 1999.

To Amnesty International's knowledge, not one officer has yet been held accountable for any of the killings featured in the programme - a disturbing and shameful state of affairs.

'With its harrowing and vivid portrayal of the plight of victims of police killings and their families, this programme should act as a wake-up call to the Jamaican authorities to take action to restrain the police from committing human rights violations,' Amnesty International said, making reference to specific recommendations it made in its recently published report on Jamaica. These include that the Jamaican authorities should explicitly commit themselves to holding individual officers accountable for human rights violations and publicly demonstrating their absolute opposition to unlawful police killings.


On average, the Jamaican Constabulary Force kills 143 persons annually. Amnesty International believes this to be one of the highest per capita rates of police killings in the world. Many of these killings amount to extrajudicial executions by police officers. The trial of police officers for such grave abuses of human rights is almost unheard of and the Jamaican Constabulary Force appears to operate with impunity.

The programme has already been shown in the UK and will also be broadcast in Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Canada, the USA and five other countries. It will also be to the population of approximately 90 per cent of the rest of the world's countries via the cable TV station BBC World.

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