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'Come forward' -- Govt urges J'cans allegedly ill treated in T&T to make official report

Published:Saturday | March 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Johnson Smith

Jamaica's minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Kamina Johnson Smith has reacted to reports that a group of Jamaicans were allegedly ill-treated by immigration officers in Trinidad and Tobago after they were denied entry into the twin-island republic.

"I was very upset by accounts given in the video circulated on social media," Johnson Smith said in a statement released by the foreign ministry yesterday.

She was referring to media reports that the Jamaicans, after being refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago, were allegedly held in deplorable conditions. Members of the group claim they were forced to sleep on floors and jeered by immigration officers.

According to the foreign ministry, Jamaica's High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago has already made contact with high-level staff in the immigration department there.

As a result, it said that an internal investigation had been launched at the airport in Trinidad and Tobago and that the High Commission would be provided with a full report when it is completed.

In addition, the ministry said that a meeting had been confirmed with Trinidad and Tobago's national security ministry and officials at Caribbean Airlines to discuss the issues.

Despite this, Johnson Smith appealed to members of the group to come forward and make an official report at her ministry's Dominica Drive offices in New Kingston.

"We invite each of you, please come ... and make your report so that we can also work on preventing the recurrence of these incidents insofar as possible," she said.