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‘GIVE ANSWERS ON VIOLENCE PROBES’: Human rights group wants govt to clarify state of investigations

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 

HUMAN Rights Bahamas is urging the government to be more forthright about the status of investigations into alleged misconduct by law enforcement officers.

“HRB is calling upon Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe and Minister of Immigration Keith Bell to report to the nation on the progress of investigations into allegations of official violence against officers who fall within their purview,” the organisation said in a statement yesterday.

“Over the last several months, a number of highly concerning claims of brutality by members of the armed forces have been made public. These include two Haitian barbers allegedly beaten by immigration officers; children in Bimini allegedly beaten by police; and a man hospitalised after being beaten and suffocated in police custody.”

 “It is unacceptable in a democracy such as ours to have officers of the law who believe they can take the law into their own hands. Might does not make right, and even the appearance that armed agents of the state now believe it is acceptable to attack and harm civilians should alarm and disgust all right-thinking members of the public.”

 “Official silence on these matters is unacceptable. HRB calls upon the Minister of National Security, the commissioner of police, the Director of immigration, and the minister of immigration, to speak publicly about what is being done to deal with the growing impression that citizens and residents of this country need to live in fear of those trusted to protect us.”

 The Tribune reported on Monday that more than four months after two immigration officers allegedly assaulted two Haitian barbers in an attack that went viral, Mr Bell said the investigation was still ongoing.

 Last week, this newspaper also reported there has been no meaningful update from police about its investigation after a police officer allegedly beat and bruised several Bimini primary school students more than four months ago.

Comments

DonAnthony 12 months ago

Shameful and disgusting. We all saw what happened and this takes 4 months to investigate? It is plain to see that our immigration department is populated by a group of thugs with no leadership or accountability. Shame on Minister Bell, if he can’t conclude these investigations he needs to resign.

Sickened 12 months ago

Boy stay in your lane. The PLP runnin' this poppyshow!!! Laws, rules and policies are for those outside of parliament.

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