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Belize: VIDEO+51 STATE OF PUBLIC EMERGENCY DETAINEES RELEASED

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 4, 2018– In the early morning hours of September 4, police units raided the homes of a number of suspected gang affiliates in two Southside neighborhoods — Ghost Town (Banak Street) and George Street, which were declared areas of public emergency, defined by a proclamation that was signed by Governor General, Sir Colville Young.

Last night, before the stroke of midnight, several police vehicles went to the Belize Central Prison, on the Hattieville/Burrell Boom Road to collect all the men who had been detained for the one-month period under the state of emergency proclamation.

Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Central Prison, Virgilo Murillo, confirmed to us today that a total of 51 prisoners were released. “That is all the state of emergency prisoners at the prison”, Murillo said.

The published Extraordinary Government Gazette, however, had listed 64 men as being detained under the State of Public Emergency.

As soon as the entire 51 men were on board the police vehicles that had gone to the prison to pick them up, they were driven to the Eastern Division Police headquarters, where there was a session between them and the police.

Since the men were imprisoned, government had introduced and passed into law a tough new amendment to the Criminal Justice Act which now rules out the possibility of such detainees getting bail from the Magistrate’s Court. If a person who has criminal gang affiliation is arrested, bail would be denied at the Magistrate’s Court; bail would have to be applied for at the Supreme Court.

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