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Christian group lobbies for Garcia's release

A Christian group has this evening come out in support of the release of Raul Garcia into the care of a well-vetted local family.

Prison Fellowship Barbados said in a release that while it did not support the activities Garcia engaged in that led to his term in prison, following the completion of his sentence justice must now be done on the non-national’s behalf.

The group’s spokesman, Win Callender, acknowledge in the statement that, “the Government … is in a legal and moral bind regarding the best way to address Garcia’s situation”.

On behalf of the Prison Fellowship he added though that justice must not only be done in the situation, but be seen to be done in Garcia’s case.

Garcia was born in Cuba, but had last been listed as living in Columbia, although he grew up in the United States. The challenge regarding his release has surrounded the fact that the Barbados Government could not find a jurisdiction to which to deport him, as is customary once a non-national completes a prison sentence.

“Prison Fellowship Barbados believes that justice must be done and its appearance must reflect that it is done… Barbadians are proud to say “this is God’s country”, and “God is a Barbadian”. As God’s people now is the time to answer the call to act justly and humanely. Raul Garcia is not a Barbadian but he is part of God’s human race,” the religious group stated.

Quoting Matthew 25: 42-45, he called on “the Christian-minded Government and people … to act now on the Garcia matter”.

“Garcia’s human rights will not be respected if he is kept ‘in prison’ even though he has been released from prison. Somewhere in our Christian society, someone must be willing to reach out to a stranger in distress.

“Prison Fellowship Barbados is not oblivious to the legal responsibilities of the Immigration Department in protecting the nation’s borders and fully respects and supports the work of this Government department.

“With specific and stated conditions surrounding Garcia’s socialisation we support his release to a well vetted family or organisation until he can rejoin his family in his preferred destination,” the statement concluded. (LB)

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