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April 16, 2014

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Amnesty: Jamaica panel needs to be strengthened

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 | 1:45 p.m.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Amnesty International says Jamaica must strengthen a fact-finding panel if it's to provide conclusive answers about a bloody 2010 security operation.

The London-based human rights group asserted Wednesday that the commission's terms of reference are "seriously flawed and could prejudice the effectiveness of the inquiry."

On Monday, Jamaica appointed a three-member commission of inquiry to examine a May 2010 operation by security forces that killed more than 70 people in gritty West Kingston during a state of emergency.

The government said the long-sought commission will conduct a "fair and impartial" look at the deadly operation to catch the island's biggest gang boss and exert legal authority over gang-steeped slums.

But Amnesty says the panel's mandate "falls short of what is needed to obtain, truth, justice and reparation for the victims."