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Human rights activists outraged by case of mentally ill man who died after 40 years in prison without trial

Carla Gullotta, Executive Director of Stand Up For Jamaica and human rights advocate and attorney Isat Buchanan
 
Human rights advocacy group Stand Up For Jamaica has expressed outrage at the case involving Noel Chambers, the mentally ill prisoner who died after being in custody at the Tower Street Adult Correctional facility for 40 years without a trial.
 
An INDECOM report on Wednesday gave harrowing details of the diminished state of Mr. Chambers leading up to his death. 
 
Speaking Thursday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, Carla Gullotta, Executive Director of Stand Up For Jamaica, said the case highlights the lack of accountability in the correctional system.
 
Miss Gullotta described the case of Mr. Chambers as "horrible" but noted that what is worse is the fact that "there are plenty of them in a similar situation."
 
The INDECOM report noted that there are 146 mentally ill patients in custody including nine individuals who are fit to plea but have not returned to court.
 
Human rights advocate and attorney Isat Buchanan also decried the situation, describing Mr. Chambers' case as the most egregious example of injustice in the penal system.
 
"This is not somebody who was shot or stabbed. This is somebody who died a very slow death and was neglected by the entire institution. Every arm of government is responsible - the judiciary, the executive, the parliament, everybody - and it's unfortunate," he lamented.  
 
When contacted, Matthew Samuda, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, said he was unable to comment on the Noel Chambers case at this time.
 
Mr. Samuda told Radio Jamaica News that the ministry will respond to the matter following further discussions.
 
 
 
 


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