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No Shanique Myrie repeat, assures PM Stuart

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has promised that two recent reported incidents involving Jamaican travellers to Barbados will be fully investigated, but he is already insisting that that there will be no repeat of the Shanique Myrie “mistakes”.

The Barbadian leader, who has responsibility for immigration, also assured his Jamaican counterpart Andrew Holness that if it were found that there was any impropriety on the part of local officials, the requisite sanctions would be applied.

Stuart telephoned his Caribbean Community (CARICOM) counterpart Wednesday at the height of public discussion over the two incidents, which have brought back memories of a very ugly incident nearly five-and-a-half years ago that wound up before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

A deeply concerned Holness also made mention of the Myrie case that ended in the award of damages to the Jamaican woman by the Trinidad-based CCJ, which is Barbados’ final court, on the grounds that her rights as a CARICOM national were breached during the now infamous finger search by Barbadian immigration authorities.

In response, Stuart noted that given its precedent-setting nature, it was natural that the Myrie case would be evoked, but said it was one unfortunate incident when compared with the thousands of Jamaicans who come to Barbados and enter uneventfully. The Barbadian leader, who has responsibility for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy which allows for freedom of movement for nationals of participating states, said that in the fullness of time he hoped to have a chance to address the Jamaican public on the issues.

In a statement issued by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) following today’s bilateral discussion with his Jamaican counterpart, Stuart also noted that challenges would occur from time to time in the CARICOM free movement initiative but stressed that it was early days yet in the execution of the guidelines in the CCJ court decision.

According to him, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas “had set out the ideal, but the Court had sought to put flesh on the dry bones of that ideal”.  Stuart said that wherever challenges arose the Government of Barbados would, as should be the case with other CARICOM Governments, try to make sure that mistakes were corrected and not repeated.

In response to the intimation of Holness that the recent matters could end up before the CCJ, Stuart indicated that that was the right of the individuals which no one could deny.

He assured his Jamaican counterpart that his Government would give the fullest cooperation in ensuring that propriety obtains in the matters. He stressed that it was important that the recent issues be managed carefully and not be allowed to undermine the good relations between the two countries.

In a recent case, Sonya King, a 24-year-old Jamaican, said she was planning to sue the Barbados Government over the treatment she and her 14-month-old baby received when they attempted to enter the country for a holiday. King claimed she and the baby arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport from Trinidad where she has lived for the past four years, and were denied entry by the immigration officer who told her she should have gone to Jamaica instead. She also claimed she was denied hot water to make the child some tea, and that even though the baby’s pampers were soaking wet, she wasn’t allowed to touch her suitcase. To compound matters, King complained that things got much worse when she was given a dirty mattress on which to sleep in cold, uncomfortable conditions.

However, those claims have been totally denied by immigration officials who have since been faced with similar complaints of inhumane treatment from 30-year-old Marsha Lee Cooke, who was recently found not guilty of assaulting and resisting three police officers on arrival at GAIA on June 28. Cooke claimed she was strip-searched twice, accused of bringing drugs into Barbados, beaten, arrested and remanded for 16 days at Dodds Prisons.

Holness has expressed deep concern over the reported incidents which Stuart described as unfortunate.

He also said that on becoming aware of the matters, he had immediately sought a full briefing on each of them.

During the telephone call which was intended to ease any diplomatic strain between the two founding members of CARICOM, Stuart also took the opportunity to congratulate Holness and the Jamaican people for that island’s excellent performance in the recent Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He asserted that Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt had written his name indelibly in gold and congratulated Jamaica for showcasing the Caribbean to the world.

Source: (BGIS)

14 Responses to No Shanique Myrie repeat, assures PM Stuart

  1. Sue Rose
    Sue Rose September 8, 2016 at 1:25 am

    he used the word mistakes? lol

    • harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 7:28 am

      …..because of the mistakes made by the INCOMPETENT LAWYERS that represented the State.
      Never heard of them before and up to this date still not hearing about them.

  2. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva September 8, 2016 at 1:58 am

    This incident with the baby could have been totally avoided if Barbados had done the sensible thing and had at least one room set up at the airport for emergency situations such as with the lady and the baby. It cost next to nothing to have a small room with bathroom, table, couch, bed, some necessities, microwave and a few staples. It’s nothing to have a room kept clean and stocked at all times if needed. It appears Barbados has no hospitality whatsoever at the airport for unexpected situations of any kind. For a place that talks so much about taking pride in their tourist industry, this is not acceptable.

    • marva September 8, 2016 at 4:28 am

      I agree that some space should be allocated but it is the airline’s responsibility and that of the traveller to make sure at least the minimum documents are in place and up to date before putting someone or boarding a plane therefore the accommodation responsibility is theirs when they default .

      Just to be kind, I agree the local govt can set aside a small room with a bathroom and bed to ease matters but a couch, a few staples? Soon you would hear there was only coffee no tea and the bed was not well made up…
      De airport is not a hotel… people passing through not staying. Next you will be advocating room for in-transit passengers.
      Before you stop writing, you should also advise people not to visit another country as a tourist on a one way ticket and that if they overstay in one country for more than a year book a ticket back home not a one-way to another country… stupsee…
      If you start out wrong you end up wrong.

      • harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 7:10 am

        The Airport is NOT a Hotel so why should ANY Government set aside a small room with a bathroom and bed to ease matters but a couch, a few staples?
        Suppose 5 such DISHONEST individuals decide to pull a stunt like that ? soon you will be calling for 5 small rooms and the like.
        It doesn’t happen in JAMAICA,TRINIDAD nor NO WHERE in the Caribbean.. not even in the rich Countries.
        What you should be advising ALL women that travel with their babies just like how they travel with their necessities for that time of the month and other feminine stuff, one should travel with ADEQUATE PAMPERS and and a warm bottle or two of baby milk.
        Immigration or ANYBODY is NOT in the business of BABY CARE….THAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MOTHER.

    • harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 7:24 am

      So I am assuming that the NORMAN MANLEY AIRPORT and the other Airport in Montego Bay have ALL OF THOSE facilities and that Jamaica has ALL the hospitality at those Airports for any unexpected situations of ANY KIND…that is CORRECT…right ????
      ….and it didn’t occur to you that if that fraud had an ADEQUATE amount of PAMPERS and a bottle or two of warm baby milk and Ventolin and Becotide inhalers for the ASTHMA that all of that could have been avoided ?
      Women travel with their napkins ALL THE TIME…for that time of the month women travel with their NECESSITIES ALL THE TIME.
      She traveling with a BABY and don’t have BABY STUFF ???

  3. Francis September 8, 2016 at 4:42 am

    The airlines do make sure that all passengers who travel have the correct documentation for entry to the particular country.
    If for whatever reason the immigration deny that passenger entry the AIRLINE HAS DONE WHAT WAS REQUIRED. How can you now say it’s the airlines responsibility to accommodate that passenger?
    This has been going on for a long time and it is wrong!!!!

    • harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 6:49 am

      Francis ..THE WOMAN CAME HERE ON A ONE WAY TICKET and the Immigration ACCOMMODATED her when she requested that she called her sister to CONFIRM the return ticket.
      All of that should have been done BEFORE SHE LEFT TRINIDAD and furthermore the IMMIGRATION OFFICER DID NOT HAVE TO DO THAT.
      One CANNOT enter a Country if it is not your Country ON A ONE WAY TICKET….YOU WILL BE SENT is as SIMPLE AS THAT so don’t talk about …”.the airlines do make sure that all passengers who travel have the correct documentation for entry to the particular country.”

  4. harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Mr.Freundel Stuart I would advise you to take the JAMAICAN Authorities to the CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE ( CCJ ) and SUE them for not PROPERLY SCREENING THEIR NATIONALS before they leave Jamaica on route to Barbados.

  5. Alex Alleyne September 8, 2016 at 10:21 am

    The airport need about 3 sniffer dogs looking for drugs so that no one will have to touch a person then to find out no drugs are on them . Barbados need to set a fee of ONE MILLION (US) DOLLARS to the country from where the plane took the person from. You cannot just walk on to any plane without going through some form of security. Most of these people are getting help. I do hope that once and for all that this comes to an end.

  6. jrsmith September 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    A lot of comments by many is why we keep having this type of issues at our Airport…bajans travel to 3 major destinations countries (UK, Canada and the US) and they is facilities at these airports for any emergency happening.

    Saying that ( Jamaicans ) are deported every week from the (USA) no one threatens to sue the (US government) its a situation you like or lump it…

    40 (Jamaicans) was just deported from the (UK) lets watch this space…

  7. harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Mr.Stuart I gine tell ya again.If them Jamaicans take those matters to the CCJ …TAKE THEM TO THE CCJ TOO for not properly SCREENING their DRUG MULES on route to Barbados.
    Heard a LAWYER on a call in program this morning talking about them Jamaicans not properly screening their nationals prior to departure.
    Every friggin two weeks it en some damn Jamaican being caught with drugs it is somebody telling lies up front ,coming wid a one way ticket and when detained or denied entry threatening to sue.
    This SH8 got to STOP man.

  8. Josh September 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Type Bajan drug traffickers into Google and you find quite a few. In fact only in July 2016 was a shipment of liquid cocaine from Barbados intercepted in the UK, alongside the Bajans who were recently intercepted at sea and the list goes on. The reality is there are 90% more Jamaicans than Bajans so the incidence of their arrests overseas in this regard needs to be seen in this context. Nonetheless, would any of you wish to be treated like a dog, strip searched et al on the basis of the actions of a few of your country men rather than based on any evidence?

    In the case of the woman with the child – she had a return ticket to Trinidad, where she is married and lives, the Bajan immigration did not accept this as acceptable so she got her sister to buy her a return ticket to Jamaica, they leave her to sleep on the floor, deport her and then retrieve her from the plane and give her a short stay – why do the latter, immigration officers, if the woman was in the wrong? As for the other woman, beaten, strip searched twice and then sent to Dobbs – it beggars belief – what is important here is no-one should be treated like this, even if they were carrying drugs! The outcome of this case is following being given bail the woman has to stay in Barbados for two months, although she has children at home, only to be told by a Bajan judge that she has no case to answer and is free to go!! Who, on this forum would not sue in these situations? Yes, some Jamaicans (and others) bring drugs here, there clearly is a marketplace (but that’s for another discussion) but as neither of these women were found with drugs and there has been no evidence to suggest either would overstay, on what basis were they treated so poorly and why should they accept it? Would any of you?

  9. Tee White September 8, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Josh, you hit the nail on the head. The concrete facts you have put out here regarding these two cases just goes to show that we are dealing with some backward anti-jamaican prejudice by these immigration officers and those who are trying to justify their actions.


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