A PHOTOGRAPH showing injuries reportedly sustained by a Cuban detainee has surfaced on social media.
THIS picture revealed on a social media website apparently showing a man’s whipped back is authentic and was submitted to the government as evidence of Cuban detainee abuse, The Tribune understands.
According to well-placed sources in the FNM, the leaked photograph which appeared on activist Rodney Moncur’s Facebook page is a part of one of two reports already submitted to the government.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell during a press conference at his office denied that the investigation was complete. He added that although it is his wish for the results from the probe to be made public, he suggested that Cabinet would have to decide.
Asked if he was aware of the picture, Mr Mitchell would only acknowledge that when the allegations of abuse were first made a picture was circulating on Facebook. He further refused to look at the photo which The Tribune presented to him or say if the photo was a part of ongoing investigations.
“What I would say,” Mr Mitchell said, “is around the time that these allegations were made, there was a photo circulating on Facebook, I think because I have seen some photos somewhere before. But remember this, I will always make this distinction and I did so last week. You have to make a distinction between the Bahamas government, the state of the Bahamas and its involving itself in cruel and inhumane punishment and individuals who work for the state.
“I said individuals are responsible for their own behaviour so that’s the best way for me to answer it.”
The photograph was taken, on May 20th, about a month before Mr Mitchell for the first time emphatically denied that that the Bahamas takes part in the abuse of detainees.
On June 17, when asked about a video which aired on Miami TV Mr Mitchell said: “It remains to be said that the Bahamas government does not beat those in its custody. All detainees are treated with respect and in accordance with all applicable conventions and with human dignity and courtesy.”
Later, on July 16 he said: “The Bahamas does not support inhumane treatment of people detained in its facilities. It does not condone or support the abuse of detainees. Where there are specific allegations of abuse then those matters are investigated and adjudicated.”
Most recently, Mr Mitchell denied that anyone in the Bahamas government admitted that there was abuse of the detainees.
The source said: “You must understand that this has never been about trying to embarrass the government. But what they have tried to do is cover this incident up.
“At the same time, we have suffered international embarrassment because of a number of missteps on the part of the government. The US rhetoric has increased as this matter becomes more and more sensitive.
“These people were injured in May and the investigation was completed in June, so it has been completed a long time ago.” In his opinion Fred Mitchell was “not telling the truth in this matter.”