Categorized | National News

Save The Bays Representatives “Unhinged”

By P.J. Malone

The Save The Bays representatives—Fred Smith, Francisco Nunez, Joseph Darville, Kirkland Bodie and Romauld Ferreira—have been called “unhinged” for claiming to be in fear of their lives and being forced to flee the Bahamas because of their political advocacy, which they declared in a petition to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

With respect to the petition made by Save The Bays representatives, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Fred Mitchell, released a statement that reads in part,

“On 27th September 2016 the Permanent Mission of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States (OAS) / Embassy of The Bahamas, Washington, D.C. was notified by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of a petition by five Bahamians (Fred Smith, Francisco Nunez, Joseph Darville, Kirkland Bodie and Romauld Ferreira) that their lives are in danger because of their political advocacy, and that some of them have had to flee The Bahamas.

“The Petition was made on their behalf by the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association. The petitioners seek to cause the IACHR to request that The Bahamas adopt precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm to their lives.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration in its role as the competent authority of the Government is facilitating the Government’s reply to the Petition.”

Minster Mitchell also stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration will continue to inform the public of the developments in, and resolution of, this matter.”

Bahamians across the Bahamas was quick to react. On Monday’s Issues of The Day on Love 97 radio station, several Bahamians called into the show to voice their opinion of Save The Bays’ latest actions.

Show Host, Mr. Wendall Jones began the show by stating that it is “a dangerous petition by the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association”.

He also said that a lot of Bahamians don’t believe the petition to be true: “They don’t believe that five had to flee The Bahamas because their lives are in danger.”

Mr. Jones asked several questions:

“Why this petition?

“Have they gone too far?

“If Save The Bays is a political organization should it be addressing issues to the Inter American Human Rights Commission?”

He asked of the public, “Do you know of anybody who fled the country for political reasons?”

Mr. Jones pointed out that IACHR and Amnesty International are organizations that focus on real human rights abuses and have heard cases on arbitrary detention, torture, death of a journalist while in the State’s custody, killings of a number of individuals by State security agents under extrajudicial executions, forced disappearance of an individual after being detained by the country’s intelligence service, and execution of a political leader.

As Mr. Jones noted, these are the kinds of issues these human rights organizations have dealt with in the past in countries around the world.

It is felt that Fred Smith, Francisco Nunez, Joseph Darville, Kirkland Bodie and Romauld Ferreira are besmirching the name of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Mr. Jones calls it “as dangerous as anything I have seen”.

Callers into the show blasted these individuals for their actions and attempts to ruin the reputation of The Bahamas:

“I think this group is making mischief and are on a dangerous course when they are going to say they have to leave the country because their lives are in danger. We don’t operate like that in The Bahamas…. That’s nonsense.”

As expressed by another caller, “It’s the epitome of crazy.”

One individual asserted the actions represented “a crass manipulation to sully the good name of The Bahamas with a diabolical plan.”

One caller discussed his perspective on the five individuals and the basis for their claims:

“My view is that it is a bunch of unhinged individuals. I am satisfied that they are being funded by outside money, by an individual who does not mean our country well.

“You cannot want to damage a Government so badly that you destroy the Bahamas’ reputation to do it. This is so egregious it is so offensive.

“I see two of the five individuals from time to time on my way to work, and they seem to be scurrying about with a sense of self-importance and don’t look afraid to me.

“And Ferreira as a candidate for the opposition, ought to let the public know whether this action raised has the support of the official opposition.”

Mr. Jones explained that while KB was on his television show the other day, he spoke of a number of things, but never once spoke about being in fear of his life or having to flee The Bahamas due to his political advocacy.

This action taken by these 5 individuals was described by Mr. Jones as “one of the most unpatriotic things I have seen in a long time”.

As to what should happen to these individuals for making such false claims, one caller expressed this:

“The response of the Bahamas has to be very harsh that this group of persons would try to perpetrate something like that on the Bahamas. They are giving the Bahamas a bad name.”

If Fred Smith, Francisco Nunez, Joseph Darville, Kirkland Bodie and Romauld Ferreira made such false claims to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, then maybe they are unhinged!

Written by Jones Bahamas

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