0

Insight: We Treat Murderers And Rapists Better Than We Treat People Suspected Of Having ‘Haitian Blood’

The Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

The Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

photo

Attorney Fred Smith QC

By Frederick Smith, QC

When people hear the term “ethnic cleansing” they tend to think of notorious historical genocides – mass exterminations of people under the most graphic and shocking of circumstances. References to “concentration camps” usually evoke images like the unspeakable horrors of Auschwitz, the huge death toll of the Soviet Gulags, mass graves in the former Yugoslavia.

Most Bahamians would dismiss the idea their own society could be in any way connected with these terrible nightmares of the past. However uncomfortable it may be to admit, the truth is at the beginning of 2018, the impulses and motivations that give rise to and condone ethnic cleansing are very much alive and well in The Bahamas.

The term “ethnic cleansing,” according to the United Nations, refers to any systematic forced removal of individuals from a society or territory, based on their ethnic or religious identity. Although violence and murder are tools that can be used to achieve this, “forced migration” is actually a much more common weapon against those considered a threat because they are perceived as different. Likewise, a concentration camp is any guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc, especially those being held for extended periods without being charged with any crime.

According to these objective standards, there can be no doubt The Bahamas has for decades been committed to a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing against people of Haitian descent and currently uses at least one concentration camp to achieve this aim.

This has nothing to do with enforcing the Immigration Act or defending our borders. This is about successive FNM and PLP governments undertaking an organised campaign of widespread, institutionalised and violent efforts to remove individuals of Haitian descent who have a right to be here under the constitution. This is about a clandestine strategy to achieve forced migration.

I speak particularly of individuals born here to Haitian parents who are entitled to be registered as citizens upon application after their 18th birthday. Tens of thousands have done so in accordance with the law. Many have also done so after their 19th birthday; whilst many have not applied at all given the Government does not educate nor promote the Constitutional entitlement in Creole or at all. Thousands who have applied have heard nothing back from Immigration officials for years, sometimes decades. In the meantime, they are terrorised by the Big Yellow Bus, hunted down, detained and expelled.

Anyone who thinks this is not intentional on the part of the authorities is fooling themselves. Any doubts I may have had were dispelled over the past few years (ie since Fred Mitchell’s 2014 pogrom) in conversations with senior PLP and FNM politicians, several of whom told me that they simply couldn’t grant status to all those who legally qualify, as The Bahamas would be “overrun by Haitians” who will “take over our country”.

One could not ask for a more blatant admission of racism, discrimination and a mentality supportive of ethnic cleansing. They actually admit to breaking the law and denying people constitutional rights so as to defend “ethnic purity”.

The victims of this campaign are, legally speaking, Bahamian Citizens In Waiting, but apparently because of their “blood” or “DNA”, even after securing citizenship they would somehow remain aliens and invaders. As if any of the people who currently call themselves Bahamian are native to this place. As if there is any great genetic difference between Haitian people and “true Bahamians”.

I also speak of individuals who were born here but declined to apply for citizenship for whatever reason. There is no requirement for them to apply and no lawful justification for the authorities bothering with them if they fail to do so. These individuals have committed no crime. They have not violated the Immigration Act by entering illegally or overstaying their allotted time – they were born here and there is no legal process that would allow for their detention or unconstitutional expulsion.

Yet these individuals are routinely randomly, assaulted, battered and kidnapped. One may instinctively recoil from the use of the word “kidnapped”. This would be warranted if there was any intention on the part of Immigration to charge them with an offence. However, they cannot be charged, and not one has ever been charged in a court of law for an offence under the Immigration Act because they have not committed any offence. They are held against their will in the most unsanitary, degrading, demeaning and unhealthy circumstances. They are often beaten, abused and in many cases sexually assaulted – all without ever being charged with a crime, ever having their day in court, without access to a lawyer, without a chance to apply for bail, without any protection from arbitrary detention for extended periods of time.

The Constitution of The Bahamas says that each and every single “person” in this country is entitled to the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in Chapter III of the Constitution. Yet they are denied to only one group of people based on their ethnicity – people who, to the extent that they were born here, are totally innocent of any crime. We treat murderers and rapists better than we treat people suspected of having “Haitian blood”.

I used to think the Immigration Department was a rogue branch of government, operating without oversight and as if it was above the law. Developments since Fred Mitchell’s 2014 Edicts and that of Minnis in 2017 suggest a much more frightening reality. Immigration is not a renegade entity operating against the tide of the government’s normal day-to-day respect for the rule of law; it is the sharp and visible end of a very long spear, the shaft being composed of intentional inaction on the part of the Attorney General’s office, the Department of Public Prosecutions and the Royal Bahamas Police Force. And the hands that wield this weapon of national injustice are those of the political leadership itself.

The facts allow for no other conclusion: The Bahamas is engaging in ethnic cleansing on a national level at the behest of our political class, both PLP and FNM. How else can one define a society where people can be kidnapped from their homes, grabbed on the side of the street or at their workplaces and deprived of their liberty just because of how they look or sound? Where people can have their homes broken into without a warrant, have their property stolen with impunity, can be separated from their families and held indefinitely without charge, without the opportunity to apply for bail, without access to a lawyer? What do we say of a society where, based on their ethnicity, people can have their homes and bulldozed and demolished, can be beaten, sexually abused, shot and even killed without consequence?

There can be no question the Carmichael Road Detention Centre meets international definitions of a concentration camp. It exists nowhere in Bahamian law, meaning every single detention is illegal. People are held in inhuman and degrading conditions and without access to a telephone or any contact with the outside world but for a few minutes once or twice a week – in contravention of all international standards. They are held in tighter security and worse conditions than the convicted criminals in Maximum Security at Fox Hill Prison, and for extended periods of time in violation of the Bahamas Constitution. And, most importantly, they are not held there with reference to any specific crime; thus, they are detained on the basis of their ethnicity.

Information has recently surfaced suggesting the Detention Centre is also used to hold individuals who Immigration officers know have status, but have nevertheless kidnapped and held for ransom – cash in return for liberty. Of late, detained people born in The Bahamas, such as Jean Rony Jean Charles, have actually been disappearing.

Detainees – including a pregnant woman – have gone on hunger strikes, others have stitched or padlocked their lips together in a futile attempt to convince Bahamians of the level of suffering that people undergo at that terrifying concentration camp. Sadly, no one is interested in listening.

When the authorities bulldoze whole neighbourhoods, people lose everything they ever owned, regardless of whether they are born here and are Citizens in Waiting, Haitians, Bahamians, legal or illegal – no one bothers to check beforehand. Nor does this come about through a successful application by the landowner to the Supreme Court as it should. Such actions are totally arbitrary and the result of nothing more than the fact the victims are a congregation of poor people who are assumed to be mostly of Haitian descent.

All of this despite the fact the fact the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared the enforcement methods of the Immigration Department illegal. Spitting in the face of the judiciary, as the head of Immigration Enforcement Mr Neilly did last week recently, authorities continue to commit gross violations of people’s fundamental human rights. This could not occur unless there was a vast conspiracy to violate the law and contravene the decisions of the court that went all the way up to the Office of the Prime Minister and included the Minister of Immigration, the Director of Immigration, the Commodore of the Defence Force, senior officers in all of these departments, as well as the officers on the ground and those stationed at the Detention Centre.

The authorities make no attempt to comply with the Immigration Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Police Act or the Constitution. They never seek to justify their actions by reference to any law passed by Parliament; they rely only on confused and often contradictory off-the-cuff policy expressions which pander to the xenophobic electorate. They ignore the courts and continue to do all they can to inflict maximum fear and terror on their targets, all in the name of “cleansing” The Bahamas of those of Haitian descent. Once again, the majority of their victims are not illegal immigrants; they are individuals born in The Bahamas who have committed no crime.

Then, there is the Prime Minister’s December 31 deadline, which only heightened the atmosphere of xenophobic fervour, justified casual discrimination and gave oxygen to hugely influential radio hosts who continue to egg Bahamians on to commit further acts of intimidation and harassment, until a lynch mob mentality takes hold. Hence the constant barrage of comments on social media which clearly reflect a violent, hateful, antagonistic, racist, discriminatory and criminal mentality.

Both the FNM and PLP political class have bought into this. Hence the bipartisan 2015 amendment to the Immigration Act, which allowed the authorities to simply give people of Haitian descent born in The Bahamas a “Belonger’s Permit“ and keep them in a state suspended citizenship limbo. The same goes for the requirement to obtain a Haitian passport, even though they are born in The Bahamas. This was a deliberate policy promoted by Fred Mitchell to keep people of Haitian descent separately classified and dealt with outside the law.

None of this is about enforcing the laws of The Bahamas; it is about creating an atmosphere in which politicians can get away with breaking them. We need to stop fooling ourselves. What is going on is nothing less than unadulterated, violent, unapologetic ethnic cleansing, pure and simple.

There is no other name for it. The fact that we are not yet killing people openly is probably only a question of time and the arrival of the right circumstances as has been occurring in the Dominican Republic to people of Haitian descent.

Comments

joeblow 7 months ago

That explains why they have intermarried with Bahamians, are on the Defense Force, Police force in Parliament and practising medicine in our hospitals.

Bahamians don't like the ingratitude and sense of entitlement of Haitians and their parasitic existence in this country. We don't like how there seems to be one set of laws for them and another for Bahamians. We don't like how their plight has been politicized and how they have been exploited to the detriment of Bahamians. We don't like how they squat on others properties, steal electricity and have overwhelmed us by their sheer numbers. We don't like how they burden our health and educational systems and the list goes on and on ad nauseum. If there were 2-3000 Haitians in this country, you would never hear about them! Fred Smith seems to hate this country, but he love the benefits he and his Haitian constituency derives from it!

2

Aegeaon 7 months ago

Parasitic? You true Bahamians have a mirror of vanity and pride. Haitians have a rich history buried in all of that filth from their dictatorships. While Bahamians have only a legacy of how they sold out to the Pablo Escobar's cartel in the 80's. If France didn't make them pay the damages and or the dictatorships were quickly stopped, Haiti would have been the richest Caribbean island along with Cuba, we would had been POOR instead, serving the Mexican cartels.

You Bahamians don't belong here, nor so than the Europeans. The Lucayans were the true owners of this land, replaced by entitled, spoiled Bahamians who never got rich from legal methods, only criminals ventures made this country rich. Haiti made an effort, and still got screwed over.

Please, reconsider your history...

1

joeblow 7 months ago

Your response suggests you are probably the offspring of an ungrateful parasite, who was birthed in our hospital free, educated in our public system free, most likely while on the free school lunch program, immunized in our clinics free without having made any economic contribution to this country. Your response also suggests that you cannot have a discussion on topic. That Haiti has a rich history has nothing to do with the fact that Haitians have mismanaged their country and resources and have overwhelmed the meager resources of this country and other countries by their uninvited illegal immigration. Remember people seldom emigrate down, but always UP. Up to the Bahamas! And remember Haiti does not send us their best, not ever!

Your comments proved my point!

0

Aegeaon 7 months ago

I'm a pure-born Bahamian from long ago, and even I rise up to see the sins of the Bahamas. From the tragedy that wiped out the Lucayans, then with piracy with the corrupt governors, selling weapons to the racist Confederates, then the mafia's rum-running operations up to the deal that doomed us to be slaves to the Mexican Cartels in the future, while Haiti messed up along the way of a nation, they still have honor unlike the cartel sellout Bahamians. But that's off-topic.

It's very hard to tell if the common person is a Haitian or a Bahamian, and this disproves your comment as the government taxes every living being in this nation, Haitians included. They contribute like the rest and hope to get citizenship, and they know if they go back, they won't ever leave their island for better shores legally. There are others who understand that this country is limited in resources and are willing to obey. Except you call them parasitic without considering the existence of a few obedient immigrants.

Speaking of parasitic, look at the government screwing over foreign businesses like with Sarkis before, along with any attempts by other people to purchase resorts or anything else. They do this for money, friends and lovers, and the Chinese. Bahamians in society do the same case, where there's someone rich in their relationships, they do their best to steal and destroy. From borrowing money from the US to steal it to basically putting up mass frauds in daylight.

0

charl 7 months ago

Thank you joe blow. So to my understanding to do somethings. We should allow people with no real form of Bahamian identification out of the detention center after 4 days. Let them use the phone freely whilst being held. Wait until they remove all their belongings and then wait on their permission to flatten the illegal homes (that many Bahamians live in also). The Bahamas is still considered a third world nation. This man insist on painting a majority of of Bahamians as narrow minded, protectionist, violent bigots. Just the mere fact that he says these inflammatory and degrading remarks without any coercive opposition proves otherwise. He mercilessly attacks the character of all Bahamians. At a time when we can least afford it. To what end? I would easily understand him defending his clients. But to throw blanket accusations on all Bahamians seems vicious and hateful. But, I am not close minded. Show us the pictures of those people that sowed their mouths shut. Have us see videos of the inside of the detention center and compare them with similar outfits in peer countries. Show us proof that all of those people at the detention center are not dangerous criminals. Show us that those people gave the authorities the necessary paperwork at the time the were apprehended. Tell of a detention center where no one has protested being held. Most important of all show us the ratio of those repatriated and those that were detained illegally. I take issue with the words "ethnic cleansing". If you have a problem with the system, deal with the system. Leave the Bahamian people out of your crusaded. That rhetoric is divisive and dangerous. It is irresponsible and reckless to use that term.

0

SP 7 months ago

Guilty as charged! Now help getting your good for nothing parasitic Haitian cousins back to the shithole whence they came and you need to go with them too!

This mullato is a typical pain in the ass Haitian. Always trying to get something for nothing at someone else's expense.

Haitians have worn out their welcome LONG AGO. We are sick and tired of supporting these bottom feeders. Why is it this idiot never advocates for his people to GO HOME.

0

Aegeaon 7 months ago

Just like I proved. True Bahamians are just mirrors of vanity and pride, what makes you sicarios so better than Haitians? Bahamians are the true bottom feeders, Haitians knew how much they need to survive, so they worked. Bahamians are the new slave masters for them. Lazy as a couch potato, and always kissing up to criminal and terrorist organizations around the world. It's quite sad to see the Lucayans wiped from the face of the Earth to be replaced with the worst set of Africans alive.

1

joeblow 7 months ago

Haitians are their own worst enemy, they have always been. That is why Haiti will never improve! And with all your hatred for this country I bet you won't pack your bags and leave!

1

Aegeaon 7 months ago

It WILL improve in time, and this worthless piece of wasted human genetics called Bahamians will go back to the cartels in Mexico, as slaves. Stop with this mirror of vanity, and accept your fate.

0

SP 6 months, 4 weeks ago

No problem. All well and good. For one, we did not destroy our country like you wonderful Haitians destroyed yours!

Now please allow us lazy, worst set of African Bahamian bottom feeders do OUR thing in OUR country and send all your wonderful Haitian bottom feeders back to your shithole country which by the way your great Haitian people willingly destroyed!

Haitians are not welcomed in the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, U.S. or anywhere else and it's not because they are "great people".

We cannot allow you Haitian parasites to continue building "shithole" shanty's, deforesting the land, run a parallel economy, get free education healthcare and social services, and smuggle drugs humans and arms or you will destroy the Bahamas like you did your own shithole country!

Go back to the shithole you created. We won't allow you to recreate it in the Bahamas!!!

0

Aegeaon 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Yours is also a hellhole YOU created when you doomed us all to the Medellin Cartel. Haitians may had messed up, but it's because of dictatorships and how France screwed them over. What's so special about Bahamians who had sold their fates to the Drug Cartels that butcher people for fun, sport and bloody glory?

Once again, you don't understand the existence of honest Haitians in our country that try to obey the laws, live like us, being grateful for the land and try for citizenship. More times or not, they contributed MORE than us. While we ran drugs into Miami as a government-sanctioned activity, not from the DEA, it's us. We got millions through cheap, dirty ways. That has gotten Bahamians entitled and spoiled. Now no one wants to be an honest citizen, just drug-runners and again, some Haitian-Bahamians try to uphold the law and be citizens for a change.

I guess you may respond, but hell, I'm just personally tired of this.

0

SP 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I am Bahamian standing for the wellbeing of future generations of my people. You are Haitian advocating for a better life for your people.

The dilemma is not that Bahamians hate Haitians as a people. We feel your pain and see your anguish, however, Bahamians and the Bahamas simply can no longer sustain the Haitian invasion and survive ourselves!

Haitians and Bahamians have been economically hog tied by the corruption of the 1% of our respective countries. Both countries need revolt and revolutions to purge these pirates out of our lives for the betterment of suffering masses!

0

Aegeaon 6 months, 4 weeks ago

So you fully know how much damage the 1% inflicted. However, this is no invasion of immigrants, as even they can't win a war, but all they want is survival for themselves as well as Bahamians.

0

SP 6 months, 4 weeks ago

How the hell can 300,000 Bahamians survive against 10M Haitians looking to move here? It is the equivalent of trying to pack a whale in a can of tuna!

The only possible result will be the extermination of Bahamians as Haitians will also want citizenship and political participation in their "new country" and THAT is totally unacceptable.

Haitians need to fight for their country, IN their country. Not fight for my country in MY country!

HELL NO

1

Aegeaon 6 months, 4 weeks ago

There isn't an extermination and it won't be a new nation either, but if there is, I hope so, because I rather this over being with a bunch of narcos and cartel sicarios sanctioned by the Bahamian government. When the days of the drug cartels arrive, you'll be hauled in as slaves for their dark deeds, forever cursed to repeat the same cycle.

0

Porcupine 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Guess these comments prove Mr. Smith's points. I've seen it myself for many years now. Joeblow, you are a disgrace to humanity. And clueless.

0

SP 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Go and tell the Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S. Mullato Haitian Smith's points!

If these countries have a change of heart and consider your argument, we still won't care!!

0

hrysippus 6 months, 4 weeks ago

It is sad to see so much anger and hatred expressed but the real history of the human race has always been written in blood. One country, race, or religion seeking to subjugate or exterminate another. My father was sent to fight in a war that he did not want to, my grandfather was sent to Palestine as a battle-field medic as he refused to take up arms and kill people that he had never met, my great grandfather fought in a war. We are so lucky to have been born and to live in a time of peace. Please don't anyone start a war on our Haitian brothers.

0

Cas0072 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Please don't anyone start a war on our Haitian brothers.

What a ridiculous comment to make. The problem is Bahamians are too passive. Please appeal to your Haitian brothers and sisters to respect the laws of The Bahamas because it is they who are the aggressors. Migrating illegally in droves, helping others to do the same, setting up a country within a country, and even boldly issuing terroristic threats against Bahamians on tv.

0

sheeprunner12 6 months, 4 weeks ago

80% of Bahamians are contaminated by Haitian blood ......... black and white ......... Haitians began coming here and settling over 200 years ago when the Haitian Revolution occurred (1791-1804) .......... So, this argument about Haitians is a stupid one ......... Does anyone complain about the Jews, Greeks, Chinese etc. who came here over a century ago and have inter-married with "native" Bahamians .......... and what is a "native" Bahamian?????????

0

Aegeaon 6 months, 4 weeks ago

The Lucayans are the true native Bahamians, and sadly, replaced with some of the worst set of people alive on these islands.

0

joeblow 6 months, 3 weeks ago

... and had they resisted the advances of the foreign invader they may have had a more uneventful history!!

0

sheeprunner12 6 months, 4 weeks ago

The Lucayans were the First Bahamians ........ the "natives" arrived after 1648.

History is a very important subject that no one should neglect to learn, mark, and inwardly digest.

0

joeblow 6 months, 3 weeks ago

and had the early natives resisted the 'foreign' invaders, history might have been kinder to them!

0

joeblow 6 months, 3 weeks ago

you are missing the points that concern ILLEGALITY and VOLUME of ILLEGALS!

0

jamaicaproud 6 months, 4 weeks ago

The discourse here is absolutely disgraceful.

0

sheeprunner12 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Your ilk is not really welcomed here to offer comments & opinions ......... you are a "proud Jamaican" - we expect you to not agree with Bahamians.

0

jamaicaproud 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Is that all you have to say, you hateful ignoramus? I don't agree or disagree with a country. I am appalled by hateful rum drinking ignoramus.

0

joeblow 6 months, 3 weeks ago

When friends, relatives or INVITED guests overstay their welcome, there is a mild annoyance that starts to set in. It grows to frustration as they prolong their stay. UNINVITED guests may provoke a less controlled response, one may even threaten to call law enforcement authorities. Not so?

There are seldom problems with LEGAL immigration. The point is that it is naive to assume there won't be frustration with PROLONGED, LARGE SCALE ILLEGAL immigration and the problems associated with it! This is not a phenomenon restricted to the Bahamas, but is a global reality. Many of these posts reflect that frustration. Those who do not see that are either being purposefully disingenuous, have their eyes wide shut or benefit in some way from the illegality!

1

sheeprunner12 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Hello .......... Anyone watching the DACA bullshit in the USA ...... Do we want that sort of liberal crap to further destroy our country??????????

0

sheeprunner12 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Ever heard of Trumpian "fake news"???? ......... Red Fred is a real "drama king" when it comes to Haitian affairs and fake news stories about Haitian illegal immigrants in our country.

DACA is a real liberal illusion ........ how can children of illegals be automatically legalized in our country???? ......... How can families of illegal immigrants be automatically legalized and brought into our country by our Government???????

WHO IS THIS COUNTRY'S GOVERNMENT FIGHTING FOR???????????

0

Sign in to comment