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We do not condone the abuse of detainees - Bahamian gov't

Published:Tuesday | December 15, 2015 | 2:52 PM

The Bahamian government says it does not condone the abuse of any detainees.

And the country's Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Fred Mitchell, says he’s awaiting the findings of an investigation into the arrest of 11 Jamaican women there earlier this month.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday Mitchell said he had already spoken to his Jamaican counterpart Senator A.J. Nicholson informing him that he was not aware of the facts of the case, but that he has started a review of the matter.

Mitchell also told legislators that he has spoken with the Commissioner of Police and the head of the section in The Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs that deals with human rights issues.

He says in due time, the Bahamian government will make its findings known.

The Bahamas Police had reported that acting on intelligence its Selective Enforcement Team descended on a nightclub where they met the 11 women from Jamaica, whom they suspected to be at that location for the purpose of solicitation for prostitution.

Last Thursday, Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to Mitchell expressing concerns that the women may have been unfairly profiled for arrest and were not afforded proper treatment while in detention.

Bahamian women’s rights groups believe the Jamaicans were victims of misconduct by police officers who allegedly discriminated against them based on their nationality.

The police said last week that the women were taken into custody for breaches of the Immigration Act and that they also arrested two of the club’s managers for a Breach of the Business License Act.