KINGSTON, Jamaica — Amnesty International on Monday urged Jamaica’s government to seriously investigate human rights abuses allegedly committed during last year’s bloody operation to catch a reputed underworld boss.
The London-based human rights group asserted that no one has been punished despite many claims of unlawful killings and arbitrary arrests by security forces.
Neither the police nor the government had any immediate comment on the report released by Amnesty on the one-year anniversary of the launch of raids seeking to arrest Christopher “Dudus” Coke and re-establish order in his barricaded slum stronghold. The operation, one of the bloodiest episodes in Jamaica’s recent history, killed at least 73 civilians.
More than 40 of those who died in Coke’s former Tivoli Gardens community in West Kingston during the state of emergency are alleged to have been victims of “extrajudicial” killings by security forces, Amnesty said.
Unlawful killings were reported elsewhere during the weekslong state of emergency and roughly 4,000 Jamaicans were detained, most without charge, under emergency powers. Two people who slumdwellers assert were last seen in the custody of security forces remain unaccounted for.
Amnesty said that despite some “positive steps” undertaken by Jamaican authorities, investigations have never provided conclusive answers about what happened during the operation. It noted that alleged crime scenes were left unprotected for days and decomposing bodies were buried quickly by authorities in a cemetery near Tivoli Gardens.