Taking it to CARICOM!
KINGSTON – The Jamaica government says it will take the claims by one of its nationals that she was sexually and verbally abused by Barbadian customs and immigration officials to the meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council meeting this week.
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Dr Ken Baugh says the matter will be raised at the Council meeting, which is CARICOM’s second highest decision-making body.
“This is something that we have discussed . . . It is not necessarily Barbados but in the Caribbean. It’s a very topical issue at all our meetings at COTED (Council for Trade and Economic Development) as well as COFCOR (Council on Foreign and Community Relations), and I’m going to raise this at the Community Council meeting in Belize next week,” said Dr Baugh.
National Security Minister Dwight Nelson on Friday wrote to Public Defender Earl Witter asking him to intervene in the issue after the woman, Shanique Myrie, claimed she had been subjected to sexual and verbal abuse at the hands of the authorities at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Nelson expressed outrage at the incident, noting that he was awaiting word from Baugh about discussions he was seeking with his Barbadian counterpart.
Baugh said he was encouraging Jamaicans to inform the government of any unfair treatment they experienced while overseas.
“People need to give us the information. They can call the ministry, write a report and send the information to us. I’ve asked my permanent secretary to document all the information so that when I go to the Community Council meeting next week I can give documentary reports,” Baugh added.
Meanwhile, the foreign affairs minister is refuting reports that Marlon Gordon, Jamaican’s honorary consul to Barbados, was removed because of his staunch defence of Jamaicans in Barbados.
A report in Friday’s Jamaica Observer newspaper quoted Gordon as saying that he resigned in January because the Barbados Government was not receptiveto his complaints.
But Baugh, speaking on a radio programme here, said: “That story is not in harmony with what I understand.
“We appointed him to be our honorary consul in Barbados and he was not approved and when we inquired, we learnt the reason why and there were other reasons which I will not go into. I read the article in the Observer and it had nothing to do with that at all. There were other reasons,” he said. (CMC)
Please see also Jamaicain Myrie plans to sue.