Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs today granted an order for the deportation of the 26 Haitians who over the past two weeks have been detained at the pleasure of the Irfaan Ali administration after they were legally landed and issued an automatic six-month stay as CARICOM Nationals.
Attorney Darren Wade who is representing the interest of the Haitians said the move is unlawful and a direct violation of the rights of the Haitians. He says he intends to fight the deportation order in the High Court as it was wrongfully granted.
It was expected that the Attorney General would today respond to a motion filed last week by Wade on behalf of the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana, which sought to get the Government to produce the Haitians to the Court.
The Office of the Attorney General, while failing to responded to the motion, moved instead to the lower Court where they sought the deportation orders.
Wade said the Haitians were never presented to any Court and have not been charged with any crime, so it is difficult to understand what grounds are being used to support the deportation.
He reminded that the 26 Haitians all arrived in Georgetown on November 7, and were granted legal entry by the Immigration Department.
The Haitians were detained the day after their arrival at a City hotel and in the town of Linden. They have been in custody at the Hugo Chavez Centre in Berbice since then.
Its understood that Haitians have been traveling to Guyana to make their way to French Guiana and Brazil which have large Haitian populations.
According to reports, the Home Affairs Minister, who initially said that the Haitians were suspected of being Human trafficking victims, has admitted that the Haitians never come to settle in Guyana, but rather to move on to other countries.
Opposition Member of Parliament and Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Amanza Walton Desir reminded that Haiti is a full member of CARICOM and all CARICOM nationals are entitled to enter into another CARICOM Member State and be issued an automatic six-month stay.
She criticised the detention of the Haitian nationals by the Government and said she has not seen similar treatment meted out to Venezuelans, Cubans or Brazilians who have all been coming to Guyana in large numbers.
Walton-Desir said the treatment of the Haitians is inexcusable and wrong and must not be encouraged. She lamented that “this act not only undermines regional integration which we claim to support (apparently conveniently), but also flies in the face of the laws of Guyana, the plethora of International Conventions to which we are a signatory, and importantly, our obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.”
She pointed out that under the CARICOM treaty, “A Haitian National is a CARICOM National. All CARICOM Nationals are entitled to enter into another CARICOM Member State and be issued an automatic six month stay, hassle free - that is to say, without harassment or the imposition of impediments. The Secretary General of CARICOM recently expressed the desire to see Haiti participate more fully in the CSME during the accreditation of Haiti’s Ambassador to CARICOM, however, that entity has been conspicuously silent on this matter.”
“The CCJ in the Shanique Myrie case established that in order for a Member State to limit the right of entry of a national of another Member State it must be in the interests of public morals, national security and safety, and national health and that the visiting national must present a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of these fundamental interests of society. The threat posed should, at the very least, be one to do something prohibited by national law. To date, the government has failed to establish these exceptions in the present case,” Walton Desir said.
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