Red tape holding back Myrie’s money
That is what Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY was holding up the payment to Jamaican Shanique Myrie, almost five months after the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Freundel Stuart Administration to compensate her with $75,000 in damages which is the equivalent of J$3.6 million.
“Put it down to bureaucracy, because politically, there is no reason why we should not abide by the judgement. We will abide by the judgement. It’s only a question of when we’ll get it sorted out.
For example, I think the legal fees still have to be agreed. We are going to do it,” Brathwaite assured.
In October last year, the CCJ found in its landmark ruling, that Myrie had been wrongfully denied entry into Barbados, subjected to a humiliating cavity search, and unlawfully detained overnight in a cell and expelled from this country.
The regional final court of appeal also ordered to refund the Jamaican woman her medical expenses, her airline ticket and her reasonable legal expenses.
That ruling and its implications for the region was being discussed today by the Caricom Inter Sessional Meeting Of Ministers.
Myrie took the Barbados government to court in May 2012, accusing the island of having violated her right to free movement within the Caribbean Community and Common Market.
She also alleged that she was subjected to discrimination on the ground of her nationality, when officials here denied her entry on March 14, 2011. The State of Jamaica got involved in the proceedings and, during the hearing, backed the claims made by their citizen.
The woman claimed that, in the course of rejecting her entry into this country, she was put through a body cavity search and had to experience deplorable detention conditions. Evidence given by her was corroborated by doctors in Jamaica, that the treatment she received, continued to cause her post-traumatic stress.
However, the CCJ turned down Myrie’s claim that she was discriminated against on account of her nationality, but found for her on the other claims.
The regional tribunal ruled that CARICOM nationals are entitled to enter CARICOM member states, without harassment or the imposition of impediments, and to stay for up to six months.
The court explained that this right had its basis in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and a 2007 CARICOM decision made at the 28th Meeting Of The Conference Of Heads Of Government of CARICOM.
That right requires member territories to give the person refused, written reasons for the denial and also to advise them of their entitlement to access meaningful judicial review.
The CCJ held that this right may be denied only where the receiving state establishes that the visitor is an undesirable person, or one likely to become a charge on public funds.