Jamaica police detains opposition members protesting against vaccine mandate

Several members of the opposition - United Independents' Congress (UIC) have been arrested by the Jamaican Police who were protesting against the government's proposal of mandatory vaccination.

Jamaica: Several members of the opposition – United Independents’ Congress (UIC) have been arrested by the Jamaican Police who were protesting against the government’s proposal of mandatory vaccination.

The Police officials clashed with the protestors as they all marched from the area of St William Grant Park to – Gordon House, the Jamaica Parliament in the capital. On Tuesday, the Police officials warned against staging an illegal march in the capital.

The statement of Police authorities cited that, “As such, the public is advised not to participate in what would be an illegal march. while the Constitution permits for a peaceful gathering, a march of nature would not be ‘authorized at this time, as it will be in breach of the -Disaster Risk Management Act – (DRMA), which specifies that no more than ten persons must be gathered in any public place.”

The police officials stated that the protest would not be in agreement with Section 7 of the – Public Order Act, which among other proposals, that notes – “where an individual wants to organize any public march in the daytime, he/she shall, at least before three days such intended public march, make an application for a permit to the – senior officer of the – Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for the parish in which the public march is to take place, or to the – Commissioner of Police if the application compares to the Corporate Area of Kingston and Saint Andrew”.

As the Police officials have detained several people, out of which many are demanding their release. The individuals were protesting against the order of the Jamaican government of mandatory COVID-19 vaccine.

While the Jamaican Bar Association backing the governments’ decision has stated that this decision cannot be regarded as unconstitutional.

The Bar officials added, “A scheme challenging mandatory vaccination is not likely to be viewed as unconstitutional for, while a court may well hold that the rights involved are being or will likely be contravened, such contravention is likely to be held to be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”