Amnesty given no answer on monitoring of Detention Centre

HUMAN rights watchdog Amnesty International says it got “no answer” when it called on Bahamian authorities to allow independent monitoring of the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

The organisation says it has been keeping an eye on the situation of Cuban migrants being detained in the Bahamas and then deported to Havana.

“We have been monitoring the situation since the first allegations of beating and ill-treatment against the migrants detained at Carmichael Road Detention Centre following video footage and photographs that emerged in June,” said the Amnesty spokesman.

“So far we haven’t been able to assert or not the allegations of ill-treatment against the Cuban migrants.

“Amnesty International wrote to the Bahamian authorities at the beginning of July to welcome recent statements made by Bahamian officials to open an investigation into those claims and we requested once again that the findings of the investigation be made public and those who might be responsible for human rights abuses to be brought to justice.

“We also called on the authorities to allow independent monitoring of the Carmichael Road Detention Centre by representatives of Bahamian civil society, including human rights organisations. However, we received no answer.”

The organsation said detention conditions in the Bahamas, and specifically at Carmichael Road, “are a longstanding concern” for Amnesty International.

“For many years now Amnesty expressed concerns regarding detention conditions, including overcrowding detention, ill-treatment, medical assistance, sexual violence,” said the spokesman.

In 2003 Amnesty published a report following an investigation it did about conditions in the Bahamas which listed its concerns, including detention conditions “which fail to respect the Bahamas’ international human rights obligations.”

The organisation called on authorities to seriously investigate “numerous” claims of ill-treatment and human rights violations in the centres.

“Since then Amnesty continued to receive periodic reports of ill-treatment at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, and our organisation continuously reported these claims and called on the Bahamian authorities for an independent investigation,” said Amnesty.

Amnesty said it was “concerned” the findings of investigations announced by previous Bahamian governments into ill-treatment at Carmichael Road have never been made public.

“Following concerns raised in 2004 by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on alleged beatings of detainees, the then government failed to provide information on the investigation that had apparently been opened.

“Similarly, the findings of a 2009 investigation by the previous government into conditions at the facility have never been made public,” the organisation said.

Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said the allegations of beatings at the centre are under investigation.

He added: “The Bahamas has not admitted to the authenticity of the video which the protesters themselves have admitted is a fake.”


proudloudandfnm 10 years, 3 months ago

Are these people willing to give us the millions needed to build a suitable detention center? Are they willing to subsidize our taking in thousands of Cubans and Haitians every year? Who do these people think we are? The USA? We are not super rich. These people end up in our country because they are trying to get to the US. Why are we being held to anything on this bull? In order to avoid this nonsense we need a blanket policy like the US has. Catch em and send em back, period. The US does not look at their situation or their status. They catch them at sea and take them back. We need to do exactly the same thing.


ThisIsOurs 10 years, 3 months ago

We are being held accountable because a Bahamian on guard duty is alleged to have beaten a political refugee in his care. In our little 24x7 box we may not care about these tree-hugger issues...but this is a big deal elsewhere.


john33xyz 10 years, 3 months ago

I just did a search on their website (amnesty.org) and there is NO INFO on this issue on their site. The last entry was in June having to do with their support for the Bahamas ratifying several UN Treaties (probably the ones where we agree to implement a VAT tax and remove customs duties and allow people from all over the world to come in and take over. Yeah, they like that).

The article says they are disappointed that the Bahamas Govt has not made public the findings of several internal investigations - YET they do not use their own freakin website to say anything.

Amnesty Intnl has always been just like CNN. They grab a "hot" issue for a couple weeks and then let it die. No follow up. What about when after Hurricane Floyd the group "Doctors without Borders" was not allowed entry into the Bahamas to assist? That has been well and truly forgotten. No word from Amnesty. No word from the UN, and no word from that group. The least they could have done to help would be to CHANGE THEIR NAME to "Doctors without Borders except the Bahamas". That might have gotten some Intnl attention.


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