Ex-con can’t get ID or passport
SHURLAND?BOYCE?may be a convicted criminal but as far as he is concerned he is also a Barbadian and entitled to a national identification card.
Since his release from prison six months ago, Boyce said his life had literally been put on hold because he had not been able to get the much-needed document.
Out of desperation and with the general election campaign under way he decided to publicize his plight since he also wants to exercise his constitutional right to vote.
His identification card along with other personal documents were either destroyed or misplaced during the fire at Glendairy Prison.
“When I came out of prison in August last year I?went to the Electoral Commission to get a new identification card and I was told that I have to bring a birth certificate in order to get the card. So I leave there and went to the Registration Department to get a birth certificate and they told me that I have to have an identification card in order to get the certificate. I?told them that I?can’t get the identification card without the birth certificate, but they told me those were the rules and there was nothing they could do.
“So since it is impossible for me to get an identification card without a birth certificate and a birth certificate without an identification card then I am a non person,” he cried.
“I received two money orders from overseas, one in November and one in December. I?could not get them cashed because I did not have an ID card.”He added that he also did work for a man who issued him a cheque for $5 000.
“The man left the cheque for me a Friday evening and left Barbados the next day. I?went to the bank on Monday and I told them I?don’t have an ID card but they told me that they could not cash the cheque.”
He pointed out that he went back to both the Registration Department and the Electoral Office on six occasions and explained his dilemma each time, but up to this day he has received no assistance.
“I?even went to the Attorney General’s Office and I called Mr Adriel Brathwaite [the Attorney General] about four times but I have not been able to reach him. I?feel this is ostracism and discrimination to the highest extent. My friend who lives in the United States told me that he has never seen this level of discrimination before and he is amazed that I can keep a level head. This situation is so intense that it can make a person become a criminal. I?can’t function without money and they would make me commit a crime to get money.”
I contacted the Electoral Office to enquire about the process in getting an identification card. I was informed that I would have to bring a birth certificate and $25. I also called the Registration Department about obtaining a birth certificate and was informed that I would have to produce an identification card and pay $5 in order to get the birth certificate.
When I?asked what was the procedure if I did not have an ID card, the operator explained that I would have to bring a valid passport or valid driver’s licence.
As for the process involved in applying for a passport, the Immigration Department said a birth certificate would have to be presented.