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Airport detention facility is clean, says officer

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Airport detention facility is clean, says officer

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The detention facility at the Grantley Adams International Airport is sanitary and cleaned every day, a senior Immigration Officer has testified to the Caribbean Court ofJustice (CCJ).
Merlo Reid, an immigration officer with 32 years experience and a supervisor at the airport since 2007, was forced to defend the conditions in the detention centre while under cross examination on Day 3 of Shanique Myrie’s discrimination suit against the Government of Barbados.
Reid constantly denied claims by Myrie’s lawyer Michelle Brown that conditions for persons refused entry are inhumane, but he did admit that many claims have been made about the severe cold persons have to deal with in the detention area.
“Sometimes it is even too cold for me,” he told the court.
Reid testified that on all occasions beds in the detention centre have a mattress and is covered with a sheet.
He noted that complaints regarding the low temperatures at Grantley Adams International have been made about the entire facility, and not just the detention centre.
Reid also testified that he has seen two persons sleep comfortably on the board-framed beds in the detention area. He said the beds were a little more than three feet in width.
According to Reid, Myrie was placed in the detention centre with a fellow Jamaican national on March 14, 2011 after a request was made for them to remain together. (BA)