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Deportation Orders not ready, former inmates held unconstitutionally and expensively for months while waiting

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Magnetic Media photo

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday September 6, 2018 – Public money is being wasted and constitutional rights being infringed upon every time a prison inmate who is ordered to be deported once his or her time is served has to be held at the detention center when the required documents are not ready.   

The delay in Deportation Orders is a nagging and recurring problem in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is forcing prisoners who have completed incarceration at Her Majesty’s Prison to be held – unconstitutionally – for months at the South Dock facility.

A Dominican man has been locked up at the South Dock Road detention center for two months now, according to his mother; a 19-year resident of Providenciales who just wants her son to be released to return to his homeland of the Dominican Republic.

Pedro Luis Flores has served a nine-month prison term after being convicted of theft.  Now, with his time having been completed, Flores is forced to languish in the dank detention center where he is waiting for a deportation order from the Governor, which has to be signed by the Border Control Minister.

The young man, who has reported getting sick at the Detention Center, which has a history of scabies, is just one of many cases where released prisoners are held for inordinate lengths of time.

Pedro Luis Flores and his mother; photo provided by mother

Magnetic Media is informed that some ex-inmates are kept locked up at the Detention Center for as long as three months because the deportation documents are not ready.

The holding of these former prisoners who have completed their times in jail is expensive, requiring security guards, utilities, medical care and food – all at the expense of the public purse.

The cost of repatriation of migrants has doubled this fiscal year to over $2 million in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  It is unclear what percentage of the resources is devoted to migrants who are awaiting repatriation upon release from prison.

Amnesty International advocates that: “Under international human rights law, no one can be detained without a legitimate reason and, anyone accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial.”

In the Turks and Caicos, these former prison inmates who have completed their sentences and have been ordered to be deported by a judge as a part of that sentence have rights too.  Under the section on Protection from arbitrary arrest or detention, it is explained in section five of the TCI Constitution Order that every person has a right to liberty.

The TCI Constitution lists eight distinct ways and reasons one loses that right and none of them apply to the foreigners who are detained after prison time is done.

Also under this section of the constitution it is explained that “Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation in respect of it from that other person.”

Our media house reached out to authorities by email; there has been no reply.

Flores’ mother says she will continue to appeal to authorities for help in getting her son released and returned to the Dominican Republic; she told Magnetic Media she has also offered to pay for his ticket home.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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OFFICIAL STATEMENT from Carnival Cruise Line

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Earlier this morning, Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk.All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation. Carnival Freedom left Port Canaveral on Monday on a five-day cruise.

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Governor Nigel Dakin on Carnival Cruise Line Fire

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Magnetic Media can again Update:  Emergency teams including TCI Regiment members were on standby, ready to act once 911 alerted about the fire on board Carnival Freedom, says Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor.The assistance was, however not required as the crew communicated having the situation under control.The question is now, whether the fire has rendered the vessel inoperable. Will it be healthy enough to continue its itinerary.At this hour the Deputy Governor and the Home Affairs Minister are en route to the Grand Turk Cruise Center. The DDME is accompanying them as well, said the governor.“…we remain poised to help if needed, including responding to any requests that may be made by Carnival in support of passengers,” said Governor Dakin.Carnival Cruise Line has also since issued a statement.

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Carnival Freedom suffers fire damage while at port

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Magnetic Media can report, information is fluid and changing as we give a update on the incident at the Grand Turk Cruise Port.Cruise passengers sharing photos and videos Stateside have given an up close perspective on this fright at sea, which greets us on this Thursday morning.Guest images show that it is the Carnival Freedom, exhaust stack ablaze in a menacing fire that had passengers scrambling to safety.The Carnival Freedom cruise ship which set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida suffered this disaster onboard; no word on what becomes of the voyage given the damages caught on cell phone cameras.While some information is changing, steady is the report that no one is hurt.Tweeted by ‘Chester 4×4’ the video is now making social media rounds and has been picked up by mainstream media in Florida.Officials had not spoken to the alarming matter up to the time of this post.

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