Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Letter of the Day | Crushed by shame – a prime minister in panic

Published:Thursday | November 16, 2023 | 12:08 AM


Suela Braverman and her party’s government must be most alarmed and crushed by shame this morning. Politically, this massive legal defeat for the government is huge! That prime minister ought to be in panic.

The UK Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to block the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is a resounding victory for human rights and justice. The court’s ruling highlights the inherent dangers of refoulement, the practice of sending refugees back to countries where they face persecution or violence. Three cheers for big Bangladesh and little Trinidad and Tobago, our CARICOM exemplar, in how to treat refugees.

The Jamaican Government’s treatment of Haitian refugees is a stark contrast to the UK’s new-found commitment to upholding international refugee law. The Jamaican authorities have repeatedly been refouling our fellow CARICOM citizens, Haitian refugees, often summarily, in sinister and mysterious conditions, in the dead of night. This practice is not only illegal, but also cruel and morally reprehensible.

The Jamaican Government must immediately end its refoulement practices and provide Haitian CARICOM citizens refugees with the protection they deserve. The government should also work with other powers to address the root causes of Haitian migration, such as widespread, murderous gang violence; poverty; inequality; and unbelievable political instability.

The UK Supreme Court’s ruling should serve as a rude wake-up call to the Jamaican Government. It is time for Jamaica to join the UK in upholding the rights of refugees and ending the abhorrent Nazi-like practice of refoulement.