There is a human rights atrocity taking place in the remand yard of the prison system of this country and it been going on for decades, and while the highest office holders of the criminal justice system and the criminal bar of the law association are fully aware of it, we ignore the plight of thousands charged but not convicted who have fallen into the black hole of the failure of our justice system to deliver justice on time.
Used briefly as a political tool to justify the sneak attempt at freeing corrupt financiers through the Section 34 debacle, these fathers, brothers and sons continue to languish decades longer than they should have or even could have if they were all convicted.
The President, Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions all have the power to release, free or pardon all those who have already been imprisined longer than they could have if they were convicted and served the maximum, yet there they sit, waiting on a miracle in a country where nothing works and no one cares.
A committee could easily be set up to identify all those not guilty of blood crimes whose long stays warrant release, and they could either be allowed to plead guilty and sentenced to time served, or the DPP could simply vacate all matters as is his authority under the law.
But we do nothing. We know that they are there and we ignore them. The nation state of Trinidad & Tobago is guilty of the worst human rights abuses against thousands of its own citizens.
We are a cruel little country that should never have been trusted with power over human beings.
This is a matter that should be made public and exposed until those in authority are embarrassed into taking the necessary remedial action that puts this unforgivable wrong right.
Shame on all of us for our silence.
Phillip Edward Alexander
Progressive Empowerment Party