Gov't silent on whether it's satisfied due process followed in UK deportation
The Government has not responded to questions from the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) on whether it was satisfied that British authorities followed due process in deporting 42 Jamaicans back here yesterday.
The Jamaicans, several of whom left here during childhood but who did not regularise their stay, returned on the backs of protest in London by relatives and rights groups over their removal.
Yesterday, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Dr Morais Guy called for the Government "to indicate how long it has been aware of this current process and whether the Government is satisfied that due process has been followed for those being deported".
He added: "I am particularly concerned about the Jamaican authorities in Britain issuing emergency certificates for those Jamaicans, who, by virtue of length of the time they have lived in the UK, would not have any Jamaican passport."
Guy also expressed concern that some of the persons being deported had filed appeals against their deportations and those appeals have not been heard.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade issued a statement on the issue but did not address the concerns raised by Guy, while questions submitted were not answered.
"We have been advised by the Ministry of National Security, which has lead responsibility for such matters, that such flights have previously been used over the past several years, under a 2007 memorandum of understanding between the governments of Jamaica and the United Kingdom, which addresses such matters," a statement from Kamina Johnson Smith's ministry read.
"In the interim, we wish to also assure the Jamaicans at home and abroad that while the appointment of a new Jamaican high commissioner is being finalised, the staff of the high commission, including an acting high commissioner, are seized with the circumstances and remain available to advise members of the diaspora in the United Kingdom, who have specific concerns in respect of relatives of any appropriate action which may be open to them."
In the meantime, at least two of the Jamaicans are critical of the Government.
"We that are overseas are under immense pressure. These governments are treating us like we are nobody. They using racism and dealing with us in bullyism, and all them things," Seon Clarke, who had a UK drug charge, told The Gleaner yesterday after landing at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Listen: Seon Clarke accuses Jamaican Gov't of 'selling out' deportees from the UK on The Gleaner's SoundCloud at http://bit.do/Deportee