BARBADOS-RIGHTS-Immigration Department denies violating human rights of Jamaican national.

 
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Barbados immigration authorities says they are not responsible for the delay in the departure of Jamaican Kivesi Andrae McPherson, who was considered a prohibited person from entering the island.

In a lengthy statement, the Immigration Department sought to distance itself from statements made by attorney, Asante Brathwaite, who is demanding questions from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) and the Immigration Department as to why her client was detained for almost a week at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Brathwaite said she was aware that her client had 'committed an illegal act, but we don't need to punish him twice.

'He already paid his debt to Barbados but was still being detained and nobody could tell me when he could go home. He was here depressed with no change of clothes. Immigration was assuring me that he was being given three meals every day, but he was telling me that he had to purchase three meals daily. I am not saying that immigration is telling lies but the two stories are completely different.'

She said that Macpherson's experience at Her Majesty's Prison also reportedly included some inhumane treatment.

But in its statement, the Immigration Department said the Jamaican national had arrived here on December 30 last year on a CAL flight and that a check by Customs officials of the laptop bag he was carrying revealed three taped packages of cannabis concealed in a false compartment.

The Immigration Department said that McPherson was arrested and charged and on January 9, this year, he pleaded guilty to the offences of unlawful possession of cannabis, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of cannabis.

McPherson was fined BDS$8,000 (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) to be paid forthwith, with an alternative of nine months' imprisonment for the importation of cannabis. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged for possession of the drug, possession with intent to supply and trafficking.

The Immigration Department said that the fine was not paid immediately, and McPherson began serving his term of imprisonment. However, a day later, the fine was paid and McPherson was released into the custody of the Barbados Immigration Department.

'He was detained by the department in accordance with section 13(8) of the Immigration Act Cap. 190, pending deportation. Section 13(8) gives the Chief Immigration Officer the authority to detain a person pending the making and execution of a deportation...

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