Ja­maica gov­ern­ment re­vokes char­ity sta­tus of top hu­man rights group


Ja­maica’s most prom­i­nent hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tion has closed its legal depart­ment and laid off staff af­ter los­ing its long­stand­ing sta­tus as a char­ity, a leader of the group said.

Barry Wade, chair­man of the Ja­maicans for Jus­tice, said the gov­ern­ment re­jected the watch­dog group’s ap­pli­ca­tion to re­new its char­ity sta­tus, forc­ing it to dramatically cut its op­er­a­tions and turn down cer­tain grants from in­ter­na­tional donors. It now also faces some US$100,000 in back taxes.

Wade said Tues­day the de­nial came due to con­cerns about the group’s ad­vo­cacy for leg­isla­tive change, a rea­son he said is “puz­zling.” He also as­serts that the deci- sion is norms.”

The gov­ern­ment’s Depart­ment of Co­op­er­a­tives and Friendly So­ci­eties, which re­jected the group’s re­newal ap­pli­ca­tion, did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.




Over the years, po­lice of­fi­cials have por­trayed Ja­maicans for Jus­tice as be­ing sym­pa­thetic to crim­i­nals and some politi­cians have ac­cused it of try­ing to make the is­land look bad. But the group is widely re­spected among many.

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