Categorized | National News

Human Rights Group Commends Symonette

Rights Bahamas has commended  Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette for publicly recognizing that there was never any lawful basis for deporting missing detainee Jean Rony Jean-Charles to Haiti.

Rights Bahamas said they consider the minister’s statements to represent a huge step forward in terms of migrants rights in The Bahamas.

“We ask him to go farther, and state clearly for the record that the practice of arbitrarily detaining Bahamian-born individuals under threat of deportation, until someone can produce proof of their birthplace, must also cease. Aside from violating their fundamental rights, the practice is also a vehicle for corruption, which sees the freedom of Bahamian-born individuals essentially ransomed in return for payments from their relatives.

“In light of the minister’s comments, we also call upon Director William Pratt to explain himself and give a detailed account of the activities of his officers. While the minister has confirmed the rights Bahamian-born individuals, just last month, Director Pratt asserted that it is the official policy of his department to deport Bahamian-born children along with their parents. How many Citizens in Waiting have thus been illegally denied their birthright and sent to a country where they do not belong? Have any of them been rendered stateless as a result?

“Finally, we urge the minister to instruct all Immigration officers to immediately cease and desist from targeting Bahamian-born individuals; order the immediate release from the Detention Center of all people who were born here; and step up efforts to clear the backlog of applications for citizenship.

The statement noted  that the family of Jean Rony Jean-Charles are still anxiously awaiting news of his whereabouts and continue to fear for his safety and well-being. Although there have been two alleged sightings of someone fitting his description, these have not yet been confirmed by his legal team.

Any one who has any information about Jean Rony is asked to contact Rights Bahamas urgently.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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