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Jamaica: HATE CRIME PLEDGE – PM Vows Tough Sanctions; Phillips Wants More Teeth For Watchdog

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration will pass legislation to classify politically motivated offences as hate crimes after the September 3 general election.

At the same time, Dr Peter Phillips, the opposition leader, says that a People’s National Party (PNP) government would introduce legislative amendments to impose sanctions on those who breach the Political Code of Conduct.

Both recommendations were welcomed on Wednesday by Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown.

Speaking at a ceremony where both Holness and Phillips signed the Political Code of Conduct on behalf of their parties, the prime minister said that hate crimes would not only include those linked to politics, but “crimes that can be seen to be motivated by the characteristic of a person”.

In some jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, the term ‘hate crime’ can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards a victim’s disability, religion, race, sexual orientation, or transgender identity.

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