March 24, 2011

Jamaicans abused at Barbados airport

Several Jamaicans who were recently denied entry into Barbados in separate incidents are furious with Barbadian immigration officers after they said they were discriminated against, sexually violated, assaulted, detained, and denied entry for the sole reason that they are Jamaicans.

The complainants also say they were labelled as drug mules as the immigration officers reportedly stereotyped all Jamaicans as being involved in drug trafficking.

One woman, Shanique Myrie, recounted her horror to THE STAR which took place last Monday.

"All you Jamaicans come here to do is either steal people's man or bring drugs here," Myrie said she was told by an immigration officer.

She added that after she arrived in Barbados she told immigration officers that her purpose for visiting was to stay with a friend who she met over the Internet but they did not believe her.

She said that she was immediately escorted to a room where she was questioned by two unidentified persons who continued to accuse her of lying about her reasons for visiting Barbados.

Interestingly, she emphasised that even after she gave them all the contact details for the person she was visiting and her story was verified, immigration officers continued to intimidate her, accused her of being a liar and began degrading all Jamaicans.

strip searched

She said that her luggage was searched for contraband and even when nothing illegal was found, the intimidation continued.

According to Myrie, at one stage she was escorted into a room, where the unidentified man returned with her passport in his hand, showing her that she was cleared to enter Barbados but her entry would be cancelled if she did not tell them the truth.

She maintained her innocence and was then escorted to the bathroom area where she was strip searched, "I felt like I was being raped," Myrie recounted.

Myrie said she was then returned to the room and it was then that the female immigration officer who searched her allegedly told Myrie that, "You are a liar, I don't like you Jamaicans, you are all liars. You think you're going to come here and (mess) up my country. It's not going to happen."

Myrie said she later asked if she could make a call to Jamaica to inform her family of what was taking place, but she was not allowed to do so.

Afterwards, Myrie said she asked if she could contact the Jamaican High Commission but was told by another immigration officer that, "If you know what is good for you, you will shut your mouth,".

Read full article here.

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