0

Probe Into Detainee’S Rape Claim

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN was allegedly raped while detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, sparking an investigation into the claim by the Department of Immigration.

Given the nature of the allegation, the department and the Royal Bahamas Police Force have started to delve into what is said to have taken place, according to a high-level official yesterday.

The Tribune was told the victim, a native of Suriname, was to be deported to her home country earlier this week, but immigration officials decided against it.

They want to ensure that the matter is investigated fully and properly, The Tribune was told.

It is unclear whether the alleged perpetrator was an immigration officer or a Royal Bahamas Defence Force officer. Both agencies carry out duties at the centre.

Yesterday, Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson and Director of Immigration Clarence Russell did not respond to Tribune inquiries.

Rape allegations are not new to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

Back in 2013, it was alleged that a 24-year-old Cuban woman was raped and impregnated while at the holding facility.

However, it is not clear whatever became of the matter.

At the time, then Immigration Director William Pratt said that unless the alleged victim filed an official complaint, immigration officials would not be investigating the claim.

Mr Pratt said there was nothing his department could do because the victim had been deported to Cuba, but had not reported the alleged incident.

He added it was highly unlikely there would be any evidence to support claims after so much time had passed.

Mr Pratt said at the time: “If a rape report comes to us, we normally would turn the matter over to the Royal Bahamas Police Force immediately. There is no report that any of my officers were involved, even if it was my officers or defence force officers, once the matter is reported it would be turned over to the Royal Bahamas Police Force for investigation.

“[Immigration officers] are the administrators of the detention centre,” he also said at the time. “If a female lodged a complaint with the officer in charge, they would brief me on it and the matter would be handed over to the police. We don’t take those charges lightly.”

A member of a Florida watchdog group, The Democracy Movement, made the rape claim against a RBDF officer at a press conference in Miami.

The next year a Jamaican woman, 28, claimed she had been sexually assaulted when she was released into the custody of an immigration officer on December 15, 2014.

While a criminal case into the matter was dismissed and the immigration officer was never convicted, the woman went on to file a civil suit against the government seeking damages for alleged battery, assault, false imprisonment and the breach of her constitutional rights.

In her claim, the woman describes a crowded and filthy detention centre with menstruating females left to bleed out on the floors and with no sanitary napkins or washing facilities.

The woman has sought at least $1m in damages. That case has not yet concluded.  

Comments

JokeyJack 5 months, 1 week ago

Cuba eh? 2013. 2014 case not concluded. See? No evidence. I dont believe any rapes take place there. My belief is the women are given too many mattresses to sleep on and so like the Princess and the Pea, the least little thing upsets them. I mean, seriously, how many matresses does one person need?

0

licks2 5 months, 1 week ago

Our country is so open to people who suppose to follow laws and they do whatever they like. . .all kind of nonsense! Let the investigations move forward. . .

0

@coakley4mical 1 month, 1 week ago

LAWS NEED TO BE CHANGE TO OFFER MORE JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS.

The possibility to make these changes just takes political will, but it is difficult to think that MP's and politicians could not crack down on corruption at the root.

The answer is simple Put the Overt Responsibility on One Over the Other. Its like We the Bahamians have became too desensitized to these injustices of Immigration Unit vs. immigrants, so much so that we dismissed that MP's are legislators and where there is a problem with or in society or how society is being treated wrt citizens and non-citizens, they should revise or create/write proposal remedies. Yet has it been going on? This is why this election you must consider candidates ability to be honest and truthful not what they say or other say they done.

TACKLE PROBLEM OF NUMBER OF ALLEGED CASES OF RAPE BY IMMIGRATION OFFICERS AND POLICE OFFICERS.

We need an aggressive ethical department that seeks the truth; actively, proactively, retroactively and interactively, bring accountability, transparency and restore confidence in our system of justice. It can be done, but it takes political will and fortitude and all that I have seen so far are battling that demon, and guess what the demon seems to have a marked advantage on them. . We need real leaders for real change, honest leaders for honest progress and true leaders for true development!. . .

Coakley4MICAL #ChangeTakesCourage #LeadershipWithAVision

0

Sign in to comment