1

Months later, no update over ‘attack’ on barbers

Gary Philius and Wilfort Senatés, pictured above in red shirts outside the barber shop where they work. Inset is a screenshot from a video showing the incident. Photo: Moise Aimsial

Gary Philius and Wilfort Senatés, pictured above in red shirts outside the barber shop where they work. Inset is a screenshot from a video showing the incident. Photo: Moise Aimsial

By JADE RUSSELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

jrussell@tribunemedia.net

MORE than four months after two immigration officers allegedly assaulted two Haitian barbers in an attack that went viral, Immigration Minister Keith Bell said the investigation is still ongoing.

Asked yesterday if he is certain the investigation is happening, he said: “I would like to think so.”

Residents often complain that authorities rarely discipline officers and that officials spend months claiming that investigations are ongoing when none are taking place.

In February, not long after the video surfaced, Mr Bell told reporters he hoped the investigation would be completed within a week.

 “I cannot say anything much further because as you know, the matter is still active,” he told reporters on Friday. “And I don’t want to prejudice the individuals or the officers. But I can assure members of the public that we are here to ensure that we treat everyone with basic dignity, human respect. And we also have to ensure that the officers are always protected once they act in the confines of the law.” 

 In February, two Haitian barbers with legal work permits said they were traumatised after being “slapped” and “beaten” by men dressed as immigration officers at their workplace.

 Gary Philius and Wilfort Senatés, two Haitian nationals with legal work permits and who have been working at Adam’s Barbershop in the Bacardi Road area, spoke to The Tribune after the incident.

 The men said on February 11, around 11am, two men wearing immigration officer uniforms went into the barber shop to check the status of their work permits.

 Mr Philius said he and Mr Senatés went for a medical check-up and filed a complaint with the police after the incident.

 “The business is still running, but we are not working because we had to go to the hospital and one of my eyes is bruised,” Mr Philius said in February.

 “How I feel about the situation, because I came from home and I am here in The Bahamas and I am legal, I have a work permit to work and I identified myself.

 “They did not identify a second time when they came inside. They just came in and beat us for no reason. We didn’t talk to them bad. We didn’t insult them. We are not gangsters. We are not criminals. We have work permits, and this was not fair, what happened yesterday.”

Comments

themessenger 10 months, 1 week ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1

birdiestrachan 10 months, 1 week ago

They will have to give an account of what happened , why is immigration giving permits to Barbars are they giving permits to hair dressers also?.

0

birdiestrachan 10 months, 1 week ago

They were wrong to hit those men there is no excuse for that,

0

Emilio26 10 months, 1 week ago

The Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Department of Immigration needs a serious clean up because too much corruption goes on in those organizations.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.