Categorized | National News

Munroe: Take Human Rights Cases to Court

Hon. Wayne Munroe


Journal Staff Writer

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe clapping back at human rights activists who said the Davis administration is not being transparent with the status of investigations of alleged assault from law enforcement officers.

Minister Munroe said activists should take their concerns to court to get results.

“When I was in the U. K., the human rights groups, they actually advance cases for people,” he told reporters.

“So, if you are a rights group, and you think Wayne Monroe has been abused by the state, and there is evidence of it, they have a group of lawyers who they engage to sue on behalf of the individual.

“If you can show that you have been assaulted, the court gives you an award.

“I got an award for, I think it was $150,000 for a fellow who was beaten in custody, and we were able to show it.

“So, asking these questions, if you have a criminal case where the accused say he was beaten, the officers say they did not beat him, and the matter is before the court, one, if you’re a rights group and you’re really concerned about human rights, do what they do in the UK. Get a team. Get somebody to file a civil case, a human rights case.”

Last week Human Rights Bahamas released a statement calling on Minister Munroe, Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander, Immigration Minister Keith Bell and other law enforcement officials to be held accountable for a number of reported cases of police brutality.

They said they believe nothing is being done for these alleged victims.

Minister Munroe asserted that police can only investigate what is reported to them and the alleged victims must prove it.

“It is not sufficient that somebody alleges the police has beaten them, they have to prove it,” the Minister said.

“Having a confession excluded at a criminal trial does not mean that you’re going to be able to prove police brutality at a civil trial. [In] a criminal trial, the Crown has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. You don’t have to do anything. Someone just has to doubt.

“So, if a jury ends up thinking, you may have done it, you may not have done it, we’re not sure, you get acquitted.  So, there’s a difference between getting acquitted and a finding of police brutality. I’ve done a number of them.  If you search, you’ll see it.

“Anyone who alleges that they’ve been the subject of police brutality, my position is simple. Make a complaint, advance your proof, and it’ll be dealt with. But what we will not deal with is this voiceless, faceless accusation against law enforcement officers. With an expectation that we will act simply because you say it.”

He contended that his colleagues who are still in active practice need so “suck it up, do their jobs and present the evidence to vindicate their clients’ rights.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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