KINGSTON, Jamaica (WINN) -- Jamaican Shanique Myrie is elated with the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice that awarded her damages of over $US38,000 for unjust treatment by Barbados immigration officials when she sought to enter that country in 2011.
Shanique Myrie (Photo: Jamaica Observer)
In an interview with WINN FM on Friday, Myrie said she is very excited about the victory and believes this will encourage people to “speak out for their rights.”
She said: “We all are one people and I don’t want them to treat anybody different. I want people to speak out for their rights because they have the rights to and I am glad I put that out today that whenever something happens to you, you can speak out for your rights."
She reiterated her intentions not to visit Barbados ever again but said she would not discourage others from visiting that island.
“It’s not the people in Barbados that is the problem, it’s just the airport that needs to be cleaned up,” she said, referring the immigration officials at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Meanwhile, the journalist who broke the Shanique Myrie story on March 24, 2011, in the Jamaica Observer, Karyl Walker spoke to Clive Bacchus on WINN FM’s Voices Program on Friday. He said he believes the ruling is a landmark one and will encourage immigration officials at the various ports of entry within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to abide by the guidelines of free movement of people.
The Caribbean Court of Justice on Friday ruled in favour of Myrie and awarded her BD$77,240 in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. The court ruled that evidence Myrie presented about an illegal cavity search and detention in an unsanitary cell at the Grantley Adams International Airport and subsequent deportation was powerful enough for them to award her BD$2,240 in pecuniary damages and BD$75,000 in non-pecuniary damages.
However, the court dismissed claims that Myrie was discriminated against solely because of her nationality and made no judgment on behalf of the intervener, which is the Jamaican state. It also ordered that Barbados alter its laws to be in harmony with the Revised Treaty of Chagarumas, which speaks to the free movement of Caribbean nationals throughout CARICOM.
Myrie claimed she was verbally abused by immigration officers, subjected to a body cavity search and illegally denied entry into the island when she arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) on March 14, 2011. In addition to seeking up to $1 million and apology for how she was treated, Myrie asked the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM citizens moving within the region under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and requested that further investigations be carried out to identify the individuals who assaulted and detained her, with a view to prosecuting them criminally.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network