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Protest at Office of Bahamas PM; rejecting plan to detain illegal Haitians on Ragged Island

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#Nassau, Bahamas – July 24, 2020 – Ragged Islanders today staged a socially distanced protest at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nassau, confirming their outrage with the decision to detain intercepted Haitian migrants at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force base on the island.

During House of Assembly debate on Thursday, Chester Cooper, the Member of Parliament for the island called the decision a ridiculous plan which should be reversed.

“I protest it in the strongest possible terms and I ask the government to reverse this plan forthwith, because the people of Ragged Island have started wondering why you despise them so.

“…This is contemptuous and I ask you to reverse it because the people of Ragged Island will not take kindly to it.”

Communication from the Defence Force explained, they jointly foiled a human smuggling operation.

“On Tuesday 21 Ju1y just before 10:00 a.m., HMBS P-44 coxswained by Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith, located the 27-foot, white cabin cruiser anchored just off the northeastern point of Great Isaacs, north of Bimini, where it had run aground. When it became evident that a migrant smuggling operation was underway, the vessel and its occupants—12 females (1 pregnant), 9 males and 2 infants, all believed to be of Haitian descent, were detained.”

Unmoved by the promised to repatriate the group as soon as is possible, Ragged Islanders demonstrated with placards conveying a string of compelling messages.

Placards decried: ‘First you deem Ragged Island inhabitable. Now Dumping Ground’ and another which read: ‘Keep Ragged Island Covid FREE.’

Islanders, who remain displaced due to Hurricane Irma are reportedly incensed by a decision to detain illegal migrants in their home island and are restating their desperate desire to return home.

Additionally, the government clinic on Ragged Island remains out of commission since the storm in September 2017. The Member of Parliament used his time in parliament to outline the many reasons the Government must find an alternative detainment plan for the 21 Haitians, which includes children and a pregnant woman.

“If it is the intention to land temporarily and then deport, this is a terrible place to do it because the logistics are horrible,” he continued.

“There is no bus, there are no vans. There are no proper facilities at the defense force base at Gunpoint.

It is said the migrants are temporarily detained at the Defence Force base on Ragged Island.

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Bahamas News

UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment

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#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.

Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.

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Bahamas News

Statement From The Ministry  of Foreign Affairs – On Order  For All Bahamians  To Leave Haiti

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#TheBahamas, January 26, 2023 – The Prime Minister  has ordered an immediate involuntary  departure from Haiti  of all diplomatic  personnel or as soon as security conditions  permit.Up to this time, there was a voluntary departure order in place and all staff at the embassy  chose to stay.  Per the new instructions, they are to leave for home as soon as conditions  permit.  This is only a temporary  measure in light of recent developments  which require a corporate  security and intelligence  assessment  and restaging.This morning  the Chargè  reported that they had been stopped by Haitian police and relieved of their vehicle and weapons. This is part of a protest by the Haitian National Police against  their own authorities.All of our diplomats are personally  safe.There also is a report  of 5 Bahamians from Bahamasair who landed at Port Au Prince Airport who were unable to leave the environs of the airport.  They are all safe and well.  The security situation  appears less stable over the past three days in the country, and we are taking steps out of an abundance  of caution.The pattern of security concerns is one of ebb and flow and these withdrawals are sometimes  necessary  to regroup.  The Security Forces  in our country have been alerted to these developments.  As soon as conditions  permit a team will be sent back into Haiti without further announcement.PLQ
Courtesy of BIS

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Bahamas News

Bahamas takes in 396 Haitian migrants; shocking interception

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

 

#TheBahamas, January 25, 2023 – In what is being described by Bahamian officials as one of the largest human smuggling incidents in the region, 394 Haitian migrants were intercepted by the United States Coast Guard near Cay Sal Island on Saturday, January 21.

According to immigration officials in The Bahamas, the migrants will be processed on the island of Inagua and later repatriated.

US Coast Guard spokeswoman Nicole Groll described the condition of the intercepted boat to the Associated Press on Monday. She said, “it was grossly overloaded and very much unsafe.”

The officials did not provide any further information on the matter.

The recent apprehension brings the total number of Haitian migrants intercepted in Bahamian waters since the start of the year to just over five hundred (500) persons.

Due to the worsening humanitarian, a surge in gang violence and deepening political instability in Haiti, thousands of Haitians are fleeing their country in search of a better life for themselves and family.

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